Thousands of cigarettes with fake brand names were sold in the Freeman Street store

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A man has been convicted after thousands of cigarettes with fake brand names were sold in a Freeman Street store.

Saman Hamzay, 24, of Chester Place, Cleethorpes, appeared in Grimsby Magistrates’ Court on Friday August 27 after pleading guilty in a pre-trial hearing to three counts under the 1994 Act on marks.

The charges involved 78,360 counterfeit Richmond cigarettes, 1,540 counterfeit Marlboro cigarettes (3,995 packs) and 20 bags of counterfeit Amber Leaf tobacco.

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All items were seized from his vehicle on February 18, 2020 outside his workplace, Ferdawes International Foods in Freeman Street.

They were seized by the council’s business standards officers who were supported by officers from the East Marsh Ward Police Team.

The illicit market value of the goods at the time of the seizure was £ 16,140 with the legitimate value of £ 40,370. This represents a potential loss of £ 24,230 to genuine businesses and the local economy.

Hamzay was sentenced to a 12-month community order including 100 hours of unpaid work and paying £ 565 in costs and a victim fine surcharge of £ 90.

The magistrates recognized his early guilty plea and his personal situation was taken into account.

A custodial sentence had been considered because of the seriousness of the offenses.

Councilor Ron Shepherd, Safer, Stronger Communities portfolio holder, said: “Every inspection we do disrupts the supply chain. With the support of the public, we can put an end to this criminal trade. We do this to protect you.

“These inspections are very intelligence-driven and we will act on the information received and apply it if necessary, so please contact the Council’s Business Standards team if you are concerned.”

Since the start of the Nightshade Council operation, intended to tackle the supply of illicit tobacco products in the borough, the Trade Standards team has now seized 885,848 illegal cigarettes and 722.9 kilograms of tobacco, which at street level has a value of almost £ 400,000 and a legitimate value of over £ 860,000.

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