Fined: Owners of Barking shop caught selling illegal cigarettes
- Credit: Archant
The owners of a shop in Barking have been fined almost £5,000 for selling illegal cigarettes.
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.
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.”