Suspended jail sentence for illegal tobacco offences

A Trading Standards operation in High Wycombe resulted in a seizure of cigarettes and tobacco worth around £2,500, which landedChandrasegaramMughaya before Wycombe magistrates on Wednesday (13 June).

Officers from Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards found 218 illegal packs of 20 cigarettes and 19 illegal50 gram pouches of tobacco in his shop at 274 Desborough Road.

Mr Mughaya, of Lane End Road, High Wycombe, pleaded guilty to seven charges relating to possessing cigarettes and tobacco bearing the unauthorised use of trade marks with a view to selling them, supplying them without the required government health warnings and in packs the colour of which failed to conform to regulations.

The charges related to offences under the Trade Marks Act 1994, Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016, and the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015.

He was given an eight-week jail sentence, reduced from 12 weeks for his early guilty pleas, and suspended for a year. He was also ordered to pay £1,500 prosecution costs and a £150 victim surcharge.

Magistrates told him the sentence sent a clear message that behaviour of this kind would be dealt with to the full extent allowed by the courts.

Noel Brown, Buckinghamshire County Council Cabinet Member for Community Engagement and Public Health, said: ‘We can’t stress enough the risks to the public of illegal tobacco, which analysis has shown can sometimes contain dangerous ingredients. Not only this, it undermines reputable local businesses and we’ll take firm action whenever we can against those involved.”