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Shopworker sentenced in crackdown on illegal tobacco

Published: Thursday, 26th January 2023

Two individuals have been sentenced today after illegal tobacco was found at two premises in the city.

Sirwan Farig Hussain, the former owner of Waterloo Stores in Burslem, pleaded guilty to two counts of supplying counterfeit cigarettes, following test purchases from the shop in January and August 2019, and has since been sentenced to three months in prison.

In addition, Soran Hama Saleh Kolini has pleaded guilty to charges in relation to concealing criminal property, namely £11665, and the possession of 1390 packets of illegal cigarettes. These were seized as part of a connected multi-agency operation, from a van parked on his drive at his home address in Hanley. Kolini has been ordered to complete 12 months of community order and 100 hours of unpaid work.

Cllr Carl Edwards, cabinet member for housing and environment, said: “This is an offence that we take very seriously and we will always take action against anyone found to be involved in the storage, distribution or supply of illegal tobacco.

“This is another great result for our Trading Standards team, working alongside their partners at Staffordshire Police and HMRC. The message is clear – you will face consequences if you deal in these illegal products.”

If any residents or businesses have concerns over the supply or sale of illegal tobacco, they can contact the trading standards team on: public.protection@stoke.gov.uk.