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Trader fined for selling illegal tobacco

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An Asian-origin trader in Hillingdon was recently fined more than £3,400 for selling illegal and smuggled tobacco products.

The trader, Kultar Rajwansi, from Hayes has pleaded guilty to 26 offences at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Court on March 5.

Hillingdon Council’s trading standards team carried out an inspection following reports from some concerned residents.

The team seized more than 4,500 illegal cigarettes and 4.55 kg of smokeless tobacco which were not intended for the UK market and had no UK duty tax paid on them.

The court ordered Rajwansi to pay £3,473, including included a fine of £853, a victim surcharge of £341, and the council’s costs of £2,279, for supplying cigarettes in non-standardised packaging, and the supply of smokeless tobacco that did not carry a health warning.

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Councillor Eddie Lavery, Hillingdon Council’s Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services, said that action will be taken against retailers selling any kind of illegal tobacco products that can severely harm the health of our residents.

He said the products seized in this case were smuggled into the UK without paying tax.

The criminals are profiting from selling cheap tobacco to residents and in some cases to children.

He thanked the residents for providing vital information that helped in nailing the culprit.

Tough law planned

Meanwhile, the Rishi Sunak government is trying to bring in one of the world’s toughest anti-tobacco laws.

The Tobacco and Vapes Bill will ban anyone born after 2009 from buying cigarettes.

It will effectively raise the legal age of people who can buy cigarettes by one year every year.

This would stop young people from taking up the habit in the first place.

 

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