A HINDLEY shopkeeper who admitted selling illegal cigarettes has been slapped with a heavy fine by magistrates in Wigan.
Owner of Nallys Convenience store in Market Street - Walley Rashid - was caught out when a council trading standards team from Wigan, armed with sniffer dogs, raided his shop earlier this year.
In total, officers found 5,500 cigarettes and 4.7kg of tobacco stashed behind the counter.
Most packs were duty free but some of the packs of cigarettes were found to be counterfeit.
Rashid, 33, appeared before Wigan Magistrates’ Court and pleaded guilty to intending to sell illegal tobacco.
As a result he was fined a total of £1,474.
Cabinet member for communities at the council Coun Kevin Anderson said: “We’ve seen a lot of illegal cigarette selling cases brought to court recently.
“And this is highlighting the good work of our trading standards officers.
“This court case should serve as a warning to those who are committing the same crime.
“This particular raid followed numerous tip-offs from the public.”
Anyone who knows of a similar issue can contact the Wigan trading standards team in confidence on 0845 4040506 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
They can also ring Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
In the last year, Wigan Trading Standards has seized over 75,000 illegal cigarettes and 65 kg of illegal hand rolled tobacco.
Of these, more than 8,000 cigarettes and 12kg of tobacco were found to be counterfeit goods.