An illicit retailer has been jailed for 10 and a half months after admitting to a string of offences regarding the sale of illegal tobacco.

Ahmad Afsana, 26, of Sutton Mini Market in Sutton-in-Ashfield admitted to five counts of possessing dangerous goods for supply and 10 counts of possessing goods with a false trademark for sale after Nottinghamshire County Council’s trading standards team raided his store on three occasions and his home last year.

They seized more than 21,000 illicit cigarettes and more than 100 pouches of rolling tobacco.

The black market goods were found in various concealments in the shop, including among legitimate stock, underneath bin liners within bins, above ceiling tiles and inside a suitcase.

Councillor Glynn Gilfoyle, chairman of the Community Safety Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council, said: “This sentence in court sends out another strong message that these sorts of activities will not be tolerated.

“We have been consistently waging war on the sale and distribution of illicit tobacco in order to protect our local communities and we welcome this result.”

Jeremy Blackburn, JTI head of communications, added: “As part of JTI’s ongoing commitment to support the actions of HMRC and trading standards, we continue to ‘take a stand’ by removing tobacco gantries from retailers convicted for selling illegal tobacco.

Are you affected by the illicit trade? Call 020 7689 3379 and let Retail Express know anonymously.