3rd Jul, 2022

Hundreds of packets of illegal cigarettes found at Coventry convenience store

HUNDREDS of packets of illegal cigarettes were found by city trading standards officers during a raid on a Coventry convenience store.

The store’s boss Dilan Abdulla pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to two charges of engaging in a prohibited commercial practice at Moris Eastern European Minimarket in Caludon Road, Coventry.

It is said that, in relation to 454 illegal packets of cigarettes and 67 pouches of tobacco, Abdulla ‘created the impression a product could be sold legally, when it could not’.

Abdulla, 45, of Crompton Road, Derby, also pleaded guilty to possessing the cigarettes and tobacco, which were prohibited products because they did not carry health warnings in English, for supply at the shop.

In a further offence resulting from that raid by Coventry City Council trading standards officers in October last year, he also admitted having 65 pouches of hand-rolling tobacco with a false Amber Leaf trade mark on them.

There was a further raid on the Moris minimarket on November 3 when, with the help of a sniffer dog, officers found more illegal cigarettes and tobacco in a concealed cupboard in the storeroom.

Abdulla pleaded guilty to engaging in a prohibited commercial practice in relation to the 358 packets of cigarettes found on that occasion, and to possessing them for supply when they did not have health warnings in English.

But he denied two similar charges and a trade mark offence in relation to the 19 packets of tobacco that were found.

And Amrisha Parathalingam, prosecuting on behalf of the city council, said she would not ask for a trial on those three charges, which she asked to be allowed to lie on the court file.

At the request of his barrister, Judge Stephen Eyre QC agreed to adjourn the case for a pre-sentence report to be prepared on Abdulla, who was granted bail.

But Judge Eyre warned him: “It is not an indication one way or another of how you will be dealt with.

“The judge who sentences you will pass whatever sentence he or she thinks is the right sentence in all the circumstances.”

At Coventry magistrates’ court last month, two members of staff at Moris Eastern European Minimarket, one from Coventry and one from Nuneaton, were fined and ordered to pay costs after they admitted selling the illegal cigarettes.

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