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Smoked out - again! Re-offending trader fined £4.5k for selling illegal cigarettes

Trading Standards finds 68 packs of illegal cigarettes hidden behind counter. Director Iulian Duta ordered to pay £4,536 for the crime.

A Harrow shopkeeper who could have caused a serious public health risk came under fire by Brent and Harrow Trading Standards after an inspection uncovered a haul of illegal cigarettes. D&D Ro Ltd and its director Iulian Duta were ordered to pay in total £4,586.

When officers inspected the off licence in Edgware, they found 68 packs of foreign labelled cigarettes behind the counter and a further 8 near the till with no English labelling. He claimed that a customer came into the shop and asked for help in selling cigarettes for him so he could support his family.

Cllr Varsha Parmar, cabinet member for environment said:

“People like Duta make me angry – they are only interested in making a quick buck even if it means putting the public at risk. It’s despicable, and I am glad he got smoked out by our trading standards officers. Our job is to protect people and we will continue to bring the law onto rogue traders who think they can operate like this.”

Duta admitted he was breaking the law. He’s was no stranger to Trading Standards, with previous convictions for similar offences. The court decided that he allowed the businesses and himself to ignore the law and keep offending. At Willesden Magistrates Court he was ordered to pay £4536 in total.

If you know of a business selling illegal tobacco, please report them to Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.

Published: 27th January 2020