A Wolverhampton convenience store which was caught selling illegal cigarettes and tobacco has had its licence revoked.

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Burleigh Mini Market, in Burleigh Road, Penn Fields, was visited by City of Wolverhampton Council trading standards officers on 21 May this year.

Using a specially trained sniffer dog, they discovered more than 2,000 cigarettes, a quantity of hand rolling tobacco and prohibited foreign labelled oral tobacco behind the counter and in a flat above the shop.

Officers seized the goods believing them to be either counterfeit or non duty paid. The seized goods included cigarettes known as ' foreign cheap whites', e.g. Minsk and FEST which are brands brought into the UK illegally, specifically to be sold on the black market. 

UK-branded tobacco products that bore foreign warnings and labelling were also seized, as well as known UK brands.

It was subsequently confirmed that amongst the seized products were cigarettes branded as Richmond and pouch tobacco labelled Amber Leaf which were counterfeit. Their possession custody or control give rise to criminal offences under section 92 of the Trade Marks Act 1994.

It was also confirmed cigarettes bearing the brands Benson & Hedges Option, Kent Dunhill and Rothmans were only intended for other European domestic markets, not the UK.

The value of the goods, if legitimate and purchased in the UK, would have be approximately £952.

A meeting of City of Wolverhampton Council's licencing sub-committee met on Tuesday to review the premises licence of the mini market and decided to revoke the licence.

Councillor Steve Evans, City of Wolverhampton Council's cabinet member for city environment, said: "There are consequences to selling illegal tobacco as this shop has discovered to its cost. This is part of our ongoing operation to tackle the sale of illicit and counterfeit tobacco.

"Selling and supplying counterfeit tobacco not only robs the public purse of much needed revenue, but also poses a real threat to public health.

"This is perfect example of the hard work that is being undertaken by our trading standards team and the fantastic work we do with sniffer dogs who play a vital role in our success."

  • released: Friday 19 October, 2018