Hayes shopkeeper fined for selling illegal tobacco

Friday 22 March 2024: A Hayes trader has been ordered to pay more than £3,400 for selling fake tobacco following a prosecution brought by Hillingdon Council's trading standards team.

Illegal tobacco, no UK duty paid, seized from Hayes shopkeeper by Trading Standards
Kultar Rajwansi, of Universal Food Store, 622-626 Uxbridge Road, Hayes, pleaded guilty to 26 offences of selling illegal tobacco products at Uxbridge Magistrates' Court on 5 March 2024. 

The council's trading standards team carried out an inspection in March 2022 after receiving reports from concerned residents about the shop selling illegal tobacco. 

The team's investigation was assisted by a specially trained tobacco detection dog which resulted in the seizure of more than 4,500 illegal cigarettes and 4.55kg of smokeless tobacco which were not intended for the UK market and had no UK duty tax paid on them. 

In total, the court ordered Rajwansi to pay £3,473 which included a fine of £853, victim surcharge of £341 and the council's costs of £2,279 for supplying cigarettes in non-standardised packaging (in breach of Regulation 15 of the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015) and the supply of smokeless tobacco that did not carry a health warning in the prescribed text (in breach of Regulation 48(a) of the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016).   

Cllr Eddie Lavery, Hillingdon Council's Cabinet Member for Residents' Services, said: "We're committed to keeping Hillingdon a safe borough where communities can thrive. Retailers who are caught flouting the law and selling any kind of illegal tobacco products which can severely harm the health of our residents will be investigated, and where possible taken to court where our trading standards team will push for the toughest sentences. 

"The products seized in this case were smuggled into the UK without paying tax, which should be going towards vital services across the country, but instead criminals are profiting from selling cheap tobacco to residents and in some cases to children. 

"The council is working hard to stamp out this illegal trading to protect residents from harm and support the businesses that do comply with the law. We are grateful for the information provided by concerned residents to help begin this investigation."  

If you would like to report a business selling illegal products email tradingstandards@hillingdon.gov.uk.

For other consumer related issues contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 0808 223 1133. 

Page last updated: 22 Mar 2024