A MAN has pleaded guilty to selling counterfeit cigarettes in his Olton store following a successful investigation.
Kamil Al Fatah, who ran Knightsbridge Convenience Store in Olton, pleaded guilty to selling counterfeit cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco at Birmingham Magistrates Court on September 16.
West Midlands Police and Solihull Trading Standards joined forces to carry out an investigation to uncover criminals- and discovered Mr Fatah during an operation in 2015.
As part of the investigation, undercover officers purchased a test packet of Marlborough cigarettes which were bought for well below the usual retail price.
Following this, an extensive search of the premises was carried out and more than 1,000 non-duty cigarettes and a large quantity of hand rolling tobacco were found.
The counterfeit items were discovered secretly hidden inside a pair of speakers, the casing of a cash till and a hollow fire extinguisher.
Mr Fatah was given a conditional discharge – meaning he will not be sentenced unless another offence is committed within 12 months- and ordered to pay £350.
Cabinet member for Stronger Communities & Partnerships, Coun Tony Dicicco, said: “Selling non-duty paid cigarettes adversely effects legitimate local businesses.
“This conviction sends out a clear message that we do not tolerate illegal trade practices in Solihull and no matter how craftily these criminals try to hide their illicit goods, our perceptive trading standards officers will catch them out.”
Mr Fatah has since stopped trading in Solihull.
Residents who suspect illegal tobacco and alcohol being sold in Solihull are being urged to contact Citizens Advice in confidence on 0345 404 0506
For more information visit: www.solihull.gov.uk/tradingstandards.