Dagenham ‘rogue trader’ fined for illegal cigarette stash

Thousands of illegal cigarettes were discovered in NC Convenience Store. Picture: LBBD

Thousands of illegal cigarettes were discovered in NC Convenience Store. Picture: LBBD - Credit: LBBD

A Dagenham shopkeeper caught with an illegal cigarette stash and selling alcohol to a minor has been fined nearly £5,000.

NC Convenience Store in Green Lane, Dagenham. Picture credit: Google.

NC Convenience Store in Green Lane, Dagenham. Picture credit: Google. - Credit: Archant

Priteshkumar Patel, 33, who owns NC Convenience Store in Green Lane, denied owning a car inside which 2,060 illicit cigarettes were found stashed under a blanket.

Once Trading Standards officers visiting the shop on a routine inspection contacted the vehicle’s previous owner, however, Patel produced a set of keys, reportedly found on the premises, and unlocked it.

An earlier inspection in August 2016 uncovered more than 220 illegal fags and two pouches of hand-rolling tobacco, with a 15-year-old able to buy alcohol without being challeged.

Patel pleaded guilty at Barkingside Magistrates Court on December 22.

More than 2,000 illegal cigarettes were found concealed under a blanket in a parked car. Picture: LB

More than 2,000 illegal cigarettes were found concealed under a blanket in a parked car. Picture: LBBD - Credit: LBBD

He was ordered to pay £4,946 in fines, charges and victim surcharges.

The decision was one of many against “rogue traders who put profit ahead of people,” said Cllr Laila Butt.