A SALISBURY shopkeeper has been sentenced for selling illegal tobacco following a Trading Standards raid, in a case which also saw more than £100k worth of the product seized.

Amang Mohammed, 29, of Southampton, was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, at Salisbury Crown Court on Thursday, July 4.

Mohammed, who previously pleaded guilty to 14 offences relating to the tobacco, traded as Bucuresti Mini Market in Brown Street.

The tobacco supplied by Mohammed was not labelled with the required health warnings, was not in standardised packaging and the majority was also found to be counterfeit.

Bucuresti Mini Market closed after the final raid.Bucuresti Mini Market closed after the final raid. (Image: Google Maps)

Illegal tobacco had previously been seized from Bucuresti Mini Market in 2020, for which Mohammed had received a written warning. 

Officers raided the premises again in April 2023, where illegal tobacco was again found to be on display and hidden on the premises. 

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A set of car keys was found in a nearby wheelie bin for a vehicle belonging to Mohammed. More tobacco was found within the vehicle together with a key for a storage unit in Southampton.

After entry was forced into the unit, a further large amount of tobacco was found. The value of the tobacco seized during this raid was valued at approximately £105k.

Illegal tobacco worth £105k was seized during a raid of Mohammed's storage unit in Southampton.Illegal tobacco worth £105k was seized during a raid of Mohammed's storage unit in Southampton. (Image: Wiltshire Council)

After further complaints were received that illegal tobacco continued to be sold from the premises, a test purchase was made by an undercover officer on 31 May 2023.

Bank accounts showed that Mr Mohammed had received cash deposits in excess of £100k between July 2020 and April 2023 for illegal tobacco products.

Councillor Dominic Muns, Wiltshire's cabinet member for environment, said: "Our trading standards team is doing all they can to protect our residents from harm by prosecuting these traders and stopping these illegal sales from taking place.

“In addition, counterfeit tobacco does not always meet the requirements to self-extinguish and cigarettes of this type have previously been linked to several deaths through house fires. It is not regulated or manufactured to the same standards as normal tobacco, often being found to contain higher levels of harmful substances, as well as chemicals which are not normally permitted. 

“I hope that the sentences that have been imposed today send a clear message that we are taking these types of businesses seriously and sales of products such as these will not be tolerated in Wiltshire.”