Euro Stars fined £3,000 for selling discounted illicit tobacco

A Manchester company has been fined more than £3,000 after a haul of illicit tobacco was sniffed out by a detection dog at one of its premises.

More than 4,000 illicit cigarettes and 800g of counterfeit tobacco were discovered at the Euro Stars convenience store located at 683 Hyde Road, Gorton, Manchester. 

Mazory Ltd, who runs Euro Stars, was fined £1,000 and ordered to pay costs of £1,934 and a victim surcharge of £100 at Manchester Magistrates Court on Wednesday 5 October.

Manchester City Council trading standards officers visited the shop after receiving a complaint that illicit tobacco was being sold. Officers, with the aid of a tobacco detection dog, uncovered 4060 illicit cigarettes and 800g of Golden Virginia – that were hidden in both a cupboard and holdall. 

An employee at the premises told officers that tobacco was being sold at cut-price – packets of cigarettes were being offered for between £3 and £5, which if legitimate would cost around £10. 50g packs of rolling tobacco were also on offer, selling for £5 – a packet of that size normally sells for around £17.

The director of Mazory Ltd, Shahram Ibrahimi,  denied responsibility and claimed that it was an employee who was responsible for the purchase and sale of tobacco at the shop. The director failed to supply the details of the employee, conceding that he was not fully in control of the business.

Ibrahimi appeared at Manchester Magistrates Court representing Mazory Ltd. on behalf of Mazory Ltd., pleading guilty to supplying tobacco products without the correct health warning and selling tobacco bearing unauthorised trademarks.

Councillor Nigel Murphy, Manchester City Council executive member for neighbourhoods, said:

The trade in illicit tobacco is extremely damaging – by providing discounted cigarettes traders may be encouraging people, especially children, to smoke as it makes the products more accessible.

“Our trading standards team work hard to prevent the trade in illicit cigarettes – as this case demonstrates we will thoroughly investigate all complaints and suspicions in order to clamp down on discount tobacco.”