THE OWNER of a Cwmbran shop who was found to have been selling counterfeit and illegally labelled cigarettes and tobacco will have to pay almost £2,000.

Hewa Kerome Fatah, of Dolphin Street, Newport, appeared in Cwmbran Magistrates Court on Monday, January 13, and pleaded guilty to selling counterfeit and foreign labelled duty avoided cigarettes and tobacco.

An investigation carried out by trading standards officers discovered a quantity of illegal tobacco and cigarettes at European Food Mini Market based at 5 Chapel Street in Pontnewydd.

Some of the packets of cigarettes and pouches of tobacco were subsequently examined by the respective tobacco companies and identified as being counterfeit.

The health warnings on the packets weren’t in English, and they didn’t have pictorial warnings, which is a legal requirement to sell in the UK.

Fatah faced two charges for possession of counterfeit cigarettes and two charges for incorrect labelling and health warnings.

The court gave him credit for an early plea and fined him £350 for each of four charges and awarded costs of £529.23, plus £35 for victim support making a total of £1964.23.

Fatah was also given a two-year conditional discharge for trademark possession offences.

He was told that if he was back in court for any reason over the next two years then these would be taken into consideration.

The Magistrates also ordered forfeiture and destruction of the tobacco.

Councillor Fiona Cross, executive member for the environment, said: “The sentence is a clear indication how seriously these offences are viewed by the Court.

“The sale of counterfeit goods is not a victimless crime and genuine retailers in Torfaen will continue to be protected from unfair competition posed by individuals involved in these activities.

“We would encourage those who find cigarettes and tobacco too expensive to seek assistance from the smoking cessation services.

“It’s safer and better for your help to quit rather than turn to the illicit market.

“Call Help Me Quit for help and advise on how to stop smoking on Freephone 0808 2504116.”

Anybody with information on individuals selling counterfeit goods can contact the Trading Standards Service in confidence by ringing 01633 647624 or by emailing