Almost every local newspaper has run a story on a shopkeeper that has been found selling illicit tobacco.

We kn

ow that it can be difficult to get to the nitty-gritty of the story at times, and work out how and why they receive the sentence that they have. So Retail Express spent the day in court.

Kaiwan Poore, a man who was found guilty of committing 27 separate offences with regard to selling illicit tobacco. We heard that despite Trading Standards finding his gantry contained “very few” legitimate cigarettes, he got away with 120 hours of unpaid work.

illicit tobacco Retail Express’ original story on September 8 on the illicit tobacco case.

We heard that despite instructing his staff to sell illicit tobacco on his behalf, and despite being personally warned about selling illicit product by Trading Standards, he got away with a fine of under £10,000 including costs.

The case focused on the professionalism of the offence, describing it as a “clear attempt” to evade authority. The defence noted the cost of legitimate product, talking of the ‘desire’ for counterfeit product due to this.

A £10,000 fine is pitifully small. And allowing someone to continue working in a shop after such continual blatant flouting of the law sends exactly the wrong message out. Something must be done.