Fined: Owners of Barking shop caught selling illegal cigarettes

The stash, which was found in a van at the back of the shop. Picture: LBBD

The stash, which was found in a van at the back of the shop. Picture: LBBD - Credit: Archant

The owners of a shop in Barking have been fined almost £5,000 for selling illegal cigarettes.

Variety Food and Wine in Ripple Road, which was found selling illegal cigarettes and tobacco product

Variety Food and Wine in Ripple Road, which was found selling illegal cigarettes and tobacco products. Picture: Rhiannon Long - Credit: Archant

Haydar Koca, 49 and Yilmaz Koca, 43, who own Variety Food and Wine in Ripple Road, were found to have 980 counterfeit cigarettes in a van at the back of their store.

Sniffer dogs were used to find the stash, which were stored alongside other foreign labelled tobacco goods.

The men were sentenced at Barking Magistrates’ Court last week for possession of counterfeit and illicit tobacco products, after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing.

They were ordered to pay £1,400 in fines, £2,987.16 in costs to the council and £140 in surcharges.

There were 980 counterfeit cigarettes in the van, which were found using sniffer dogs. Picture: LBBD

There were 980 counterfeit cigarettes in the van, which were found using sniffer dogs. Picture: LBBD - Credit: Archant

Councillor Margaret Mullane, cabinet member for enforcement, said: “Selling illegal and counterfeit cigarettes is not a victimless crime, and we are determined to prevent these dangerous items from being sold in our borough.

“Although buying cheap cigarettes might seem attractive and save you a few quid, it could end up costing you your life.”

The stash, which was found in a van at the back of the shop. Picture: LBBD

The stash, which was found in a van at the back of the shop. Picture: LBBD - Credit: Archant

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