Search

East Ham shop owner fined over sale of illicit tobacco

12:19 03 March 2014

Illicit tobacco was seized and destroyed (pic HMRC)

Illicit tobacco was seized and destroyed (pic HMRC)

Archant

A shop owner who repeatedly sold unmarked tobacco even after it was seized has been fined £4,000.

Ismail Yusuf, 48, was visited at his Alppa Paan shop in High Street North, East Ham, three times by HM Revenue and Customs officers, and tobacco was seized each time.

He was also caught at Heathrow Airport on March 12 last year trying to smuggle 30,000 beedi cigarettes, Indian cigarettes that are thinner than conventional cigarettes, into the UK. A total of £8,699.97 of duty was avoided in total from all four offences.

Yusuf, of Priest Park Avenue, South Harrow, pleaded guilty to three licensing breaches and one count of possessing prohibited goods with intent to defraud Her Majesty.

Barkingside Magistrates’ Court heard HMRC officers first visited his shop on March 6, 2011, and seized 1,100 unmarked cigarettes and 450 beedi cigarettes.

In a second visit on October 23, 2012, 1,467 cigarettes and 650 beedis were removed, while on April 26 last year, 4,680 cigarettes and 2,040 beedis were seized.

Chairman of the bench, magistrate Adele Judt, said: “We were thinking about custody and thinking about community work but we decided not to.”

Instead, a fine of £2,500 was imposed for the offence at Heathrow Airport and a further £500 for each of the other three offences.

Yusuf was also ordered to pay £85 costs and £120 victim surcharge.

A destruction order was issued for the seized unmarked cigarettes.

Jennie Kendall, spokesman for HMRC, said: “This illegal trade has to stop.

“It is robbing the UK economy of vital funds, around £2 billion a year, which is money that can be used for vital public services.”

She encouraged anyone who suspects people or businesses are evading tax to call the hotline on 0800 595000.

Latest News Stories

29 minutes ago
Will Thorne

As the UK heads to the polls, local historian and author Andrew Summers reflects on the general election of 1910.

Labour Party
Yesterday, 17:00
The centre has been praised for its sustainability initiatives (Pic by Dharam Sahdev)

Stratford Shopping Centre won an award for cutting down on waste.

Yesterday, 14:00
PICTURE BY ALEX WHITEHEAD/SWPIX.COM - Diving - British Gas Diving Championships 2013 - Plymouth Life Centre, Plymouth, England - 10/02/13 - Georgia Ward competes in the Womens 3m preliminaries.

The biggest names in international diving will be out in force at the London Aquatics Centre next weekend for the British leg of the FINA NVC Diving World Series.

Elizabeth Olympic Park
Yesterday, 10:00
Potentially lethal skin whitening products seized by Newham Trading Standards

Banned skin whitening products have been seized by Newham Trading Standards.

Ian Corbett

Most read news

Competitions

Spruce up for spring with this beauty bundle from Justmylook!

Looking to update your look for spring? Well, you’re in luck.

Read more
Glen Moray whiskey could be winging its way to you.

The Glen Moray Classic is a classic Speyside single malt and forms the starting point for the Classic Range.

Read more

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Newham Recorder e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder