A man has been given a suspended sentence after a raid found thousands of illegal cigarettes in his Corby shop.
Farman Omar Mustafah appeared before Northampton Magistrates’ Court this month after pleading guilty to five charges of selling tobacco illegally.
Mustafah was trading as Euro Express in New Post Office Square, Corby, when Northamptonshire County Council’s trading standards service seized 2,111 packets of illegal cigarettes in February this year.
The goods had been hidden in a sophisticated concealment in the ceiling of the shop.
Mustafah lost his licence in May.
The magistrates found the offences to be serious as he had continued to sell illegal tobacco after repeated warnings.
Having taken his early guilty plea into consideration they sentenced him to 10 weeks in prison suspended for two years, concurrent for each of the five offences.
They also ordered that he complete 200 hours of unpaid community work and pay the council’s full legal cost of bringing the prosecution as well as a victim surcharge.
Cllr Ian Morris, county council cabinet member for public protection, said: “Yet again our Trading Standards officers have demonstrated that they will take action against anyone suspected of flouting the law by selling illegal tobacco.
“These sellers are also stealing from the taxpayer by avoiding paying duty, undermining legitimate traders making an honest living and the effectiveness of efforts to reduce smoking prevalence.
“I would urge anyone who is offered foreign-labelled cigarettes or tobacco for sale in suspicious circumstances to report it to us by calling the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.”