Dewsbury trader ignored warnings to stop selling illegal cigarettes and tobacco – and now he’s been jailed


A trader has been jailed for selling illegal cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco at a store in Dewsbury.

Hishyar Gully pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 10 months in detention for trademark offenses and 4 months in detention for breaching safety rules.

These sentences were to be carried out simultaneously.

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His store – Biedronka on Huddersfield Road, Dewsbury, was well known to the West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service (WYTSS) who had received numerous complaints about premises supplying illicit and duty-free tobacco.

WYTSS visited the company five times and each time seized illegal tobacco that was counterfeit, did not carry regulatory health warnings, was not in standardized packaging, and was not paid duty customs.

Illegal tobacco was found behind the counter, on staff working in the store, and in an unused vehicle and trailer in the backyards of the stores.

Illegal tobacco was also sold to undercover officers on five occasions.

Illicit tobacco and cigarettes recovered from Dewsbury premises on Huddersfield Road

Warnings to stop illegal activity were ignored.

The total quantity seized was over 20,000 cigarettes and 17 kg of hand-rolled tobacco. The loss of excise duty on the seized tobacco would have been around £ 12,000.

On March 16, 2016, Gully was convicted and sentenced to six weeks in prison suspended for 12 months plus a 200-hour community order for fraudulent trading by the same company for supplying illegal tobacco.

He was ordered to pay costs of £ 4,391 and all seized tobacco products were confiscated for destruction.

Trade-mark offenses resulted in a two-week suspended sentence of 12 months.

Gully continued to supply the company with illegal tobacco in total disregard of the law despite several warnings.

An investigation under the Proceeds of Crime Act has also started and a hearing has been held for the end of the year.

Linda Davis, Head of West Yorkshire Trading Standards, said: “Far from being a victimless crime, the illegal tobacco trade creates a cheap source for children and young people and encourages adults to continue smoking by eroding the financial motivation to quit smoking.

“It is also linked to organized crime, human trafficking and contributes to an underground economy worth hundreds of millions of pounds.

“This case shows how seriously the courts take these sales and it should serve as an example for others who might break the law and endanger children’s health.

“I would like to thank all partners and members of the public for reporting illegal sales and I encourage everyone to continue to do so to reduce the harm caused by tobacco in our communities.”

If you need to report a trader selling cheap and illicit tobacco, please contact the Illegal Tobacco Hotline on 0300 999 0000 or report it to anonymously.

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