A director of a Hereford shop was recently given a 12 month community order for offences relating to illegal tobacco in a case taken to court by Herefordshire Council’s Trading Standards service.

Iulian Alexandru Mirica from Hereford, pleaded guilty to three offences relating to the supply of illegal tobacco. 

He was caught in possession for sale of 497 packets of cigarettes and 12 pouches of hand rolling tobacco, none of which complied with UK health warnings and plain packaging requirements. 

A large percentage of the illegal tobacco products were also found to be counterfeit.

The illicit products were located by officers inside two purpose built concealments, one inside a commercial fan unit operated by electromagnets and another by a hydraulic ram built into a partition wall.

The 12 month community order included 15 rehabilitation days, 150 hours of unpaid work and an order to pay costs of £1,114.

Head of Regulatory and Technical Services Charles Yarnold, said:

“This case demonstrates the commitment by the trading standards officers in tackling illegal tobacco sellers in the county. 

“Not only are the products sold often counterfeit and do not meet the safety standards required by law, but it is imperative that we help support local, legitimate businesses, in these uncertain times, by tackling the criminals.”

All tobacco products are damaging to health, however Illegal tobacco products can have additional harms. 

The products sold are often counterfeit and do not meet the safety standards required by law, and the illegal trade also has an impact on local, legitimate businesses.

The council’s trading standards team are committed to tackling illegal tobacco sellers in the county, carrying out targeted enforcement operations. 

This may then lead to the prosecution of those involved in illegal activity.

To report a seller of illegal tobacco in Herefordshire, please contact Trading Standards on 01432 261761.