Posted: Fri 11th Mar 2016

Counterfeit Cigarettes Case In Swansea Leads To Suspended Prison Sentence

news.wales / newyddion.cymru
This article is old - Published: Friday, Mar 11th, 2016

Swansea Trading Standards is continuing its efforts to keep counterfeit tobacco off the streets after a local man was prosecuted for storing and selling thousands of cigarettes. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Nigel Jones from Heol Grufydd, Ravenhill has been given an eight month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months after he pleaded guilty to running a fraudulent business and avoiding paying customs and excise duty. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Swansea Council’s Trading Standards together with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) carried out an investigation in July 2015 and discovered approximately 90,000 counterfeit and illicit cigarettes being stored in a self-storage unit in the city that was registered to Mr Jones. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Mr Jones was also sentenced to 200 of unpaid work and ordered to pay £4,220 costs. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Mark Child, Cabinet Member for Wellbeing and Healthy City said: “This latest case is another excellent example of what the council is doing to try and protect the public in Swansea from the risks associated with illegal tobacco. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We know that smoking in general is not good for you but the risks are even greater with counterfeit cigarettes because no one knows what additional chemicals are being used.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The total loss of revenue for this case was £27,416.21 and it’s estimated that counterfeit tobacco sales in the UK costs over £2.1 billion in lost duty and undermines legitimate business. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Colin Spinks, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC said: “HMRC will not hesitate to investigate those who try to profit from defrauding honest taxpayers, and businesses by providing an unregulated supply of illegal tobacco. Anyone with information about the transport, storage or sale of illicit tobacco, cigarettes or alcohol should contact the 24-hour Hotline on 0800 59 5000.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The case follows on from a series of successful prosecutions in Swansea in 2015 which led to more than 200kg of illegal tobacco and 128,000 cigarettes being seized. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr Child added: “Our work with local police has meant that a significant amount of counterfeit tobacco has been removed from the streets of Swansea during 2015. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“I’m delighted that, working together with our partner agencies, we are continuing the fight against illegal tobacco trading in Swansea in 2016.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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