High Wycombe shop owner fined £1000 for selling illegal cigarettes – Bucks Free Press

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Diako Salam, the owner of Grosik Supermarket in Castle Street, High Wycombe and director of High Wycombe Grosik Limited, was prosecuted for the sale of illegal cigarettes.

Buckinghamshire & Surrey Trading Standards conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution on May 24.

Upon the arrival of his trial, Mr Salam chose to plead guilty to all charges, catalysing judgement by the sitting District Judge and the cancellation of the trial.

During a trial hearing, the court was informed of an incident that happened on June 9, 2022.

An undercover buyer purchased 10 packs of Compliment cigarettes from the Grosik Supermarket in Castle Street.

These cigarettes weren’t properly packaged with the required health warnings.

Following this discovery, officials paid an unplanned visit to the supermarket on August 10, 2022.

With a tobacco detection dog’s help, they uncovered 513 packets of concealed cigarettes within a false fridge ceiling.

None of these cigarettes bore legal packaging taglines, and over a fifth of them were counterfeit.

While questioned, Mr Salam dismissed having any knowledge of the illicit cigarettes and had his staff bear the blame for their existence instead.

However, evidence provided to the court revealed that the illegal cigarette sales were registered in the shop’s cash register, and the false roof in the fridge that harboured the cigarettes was paid for with shop funds.

The court charged Mr Salam with causing the offences due to neglect and found him guilty.

The judge imposed a £1,000 fine on the company, which was reduced by 10% due to the late guilty plea.

Mr Salam received no separate penalties, being the sole director of the company.

Prosecution costs of £3,850 were also imposed, leading to a total cost of £4,750.

The judge issued two forfeiture orders: one for the cigarettes confiscated on August 10, 2022, and the other for a larger haul seized on September 21, 2021, hidden in a flat.

This haul comprised 2,748 packets of cigarettes and 16 pouches of hand rolling tobacco.

Mr Salam informed the court that he has sold the business.

The seized goods will be destroyed.

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