City of Wolverhampton Council's Trading Standards has succeeded in a recent court case requiring an illegal trader to repay the profits gained from selling counterfeit tobacco.

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Omid Farag, owner of Euro Shop in Whitmore Reans, has been ordered to repay £25,000 by Wolverhampton Crown Court after pleading guilty to selling illegal and foreign tobacco at the store.

The City of Wolverhampton's Trading Standards team visited the property, along with specialist search dogs to carry out a thorough inspection in search of counterfeit substances being stored at the premises.

Specialist search dog Yoyo, sniffed out over 25,000 illicit cigarettes and 46 pouches of hand rolling tobacco stored in a secret compartment held shut by electromagnets.

On Monday 9 April, the Proceeds of Crime hearing resulted in Farag being ordered to repay the £25,000 profit he earned for selling illegal tobacco. If Mr Farag defaults in repaying the money within the next 3 months, he will be ordered to serve a 9 month prison sentence.

Paul Dosanjh, Trading Standards Lead for City of Wolverhampton Council said:"This is part of our ongoing work to tackle the sale of illicit and counterfeit tobacco in the city and taking the money out of crime is a key part of that.

"The greedy people who try to make money from this sort of activity shouldn't doubt our determination to deal with them by hitting them in the pocket.

"We encourage anyone with any concerns about people or businesses selling illicit goods to contact our Trading Standards team to help catch these devious criminals."

In February 2017, Mr Farag pleaded guilty to selling counterfeit and foreign cigarettes and fraudulent trading. The 42 year old shop owner received a suspended 4 month prison sentence, 200 hours community service and was forced to forfeit his personal licence to sell alcohol.

  • released: Thursday 12 April, 2018