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Harlow pair found guilty after Essex Trading Standards investigation

Crime / Thu 20th May 2021 at 08:44am

SAIWAN Ali of Wellington Court Ipswich and Wahab Ali of Amherst Lodge Harlow have been found guilty of the possession, with a view to supply illegal tobacco, as a result of an Essex Trading Standards Investigation.

Saiwan Ali pleaded guilty at Chelmsford Magistrates Court and was sentenced to 12-month community order, 150 hours of unpaid work, £1,000 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

Wahab Ali was found guilty and sentenced at Chelmsford Magistrates Court to a £414 fine, £30 victim surcharge and ordered to pay £1,000 costs.

The conviction comes following an Essex Trading Standards investigation during 2018 and the sentencing is in relation to a total of 9 separate charges under The Trade Marks Act 1994 and The Tobacco and Related Product (Safety) Regulations 2016.

Following a visit to the premises of Street Corner Shop, 11 The Rows, Harlow in May 2018 by Essex Trading Standards, a quantity of cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco were seized from the premises, a quantity of which were counterfeit and contravened the Trade Marks Act 1994. None of the products seized had external standardised packaging, a contravention of The Tobacco and Related Products (Safety) Regulations 2016.

Just two months later Mr Saiwan Ali was stopped on a routine patrol by Essex Police with a further quantity of illegal tobacco being loaded into a vehicle in the vicinity of Amhurst Lodge Harlow. Once again, the goods were seized and a quantity of them were counterfeit with all products breaching the requirements for standardised packaging.

In total 17,340 cigarettes and 4.45kg of hand rolling were seized over both occasions.

There had been previous Trading Standards raids on the business in 2016 and 2017 where Mr Ali had been present – he denied knowing about the previous visits and the Magistrates found that this claim to be:
“Incorrect even though he was not convicted of offences. He was present both times and knew of the counterfeit tobacco and was in possession of tobacco on 16 May 2018 to make gain for himself or another. The court did not find his account to be credible. Due to the inconsistency of the accounts given, the amount and profit, the previous raids for counterfeit tobacco and cigarettes, that he was aware of.”

Magistrates further stated that “His credibility in general and bad character were corrected by the prosecution.”

Cllr Graham Butland, Cabinet Member for: Devolution, The Arts, Heritage and Culture said: “Today’s sentencing sends a clear message to individuals that continue to break the law.

“Essex Trading Standards has an ongoing commitment to protecting the health of our residents and supporting legitimate businesses who are undermined by the sale of illegal tobacco. Counterfeit goods have acknowledged links to organised crime and cause a significant financial detriment to the wider economy”

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