Sniffer dog seeks out nearly 5kg of illegal tobacco at Manchester shop

Sniffer dog seeks out nearly 5kg of illegal tobacco at Manchester shop

Some of the seized tobacco.

A diligent dog was the difference in helping Manchester City Council Trading Standards seize a haul of illegal tobacco. 

In December 2019 officers attended Superstore, in Stockport Road, Manchester, to carry out a routine inspection. 

During this search officers were assisted by a tobacco detection dog, Mollie. During a search Mollie sniffed out a cache of illegal tobacco hidden in a rear storeroom of the shop, as well as on a hidden shelf. 

A total of 13,050 cigarettes and 4.5kg of rolling tobacco were seized as a result of this action. 

The director of the company Djemal Dulovi, 53, of Chapel Street, Levenshulme, was invited to an interview by Trading Standards but other than confirming his role within the business he did not cooperate with any further questions relating to the alleged offences. 

At a hearing held at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, 27, 2022, January, Dulovi appeared charged with four offences under the Trade Marks Act 1994, one charge under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016, and one charge under the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015. 

Both Dulovi and the company pleaded guilty to all offences. 

He was sentenced to a 12-month community order requiring him to carry out 60 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay costs of £329, and a victim surcharge of £95. 

The company, Superstore MCR Ltd., was sentenced to pay a £2,500 fine, pay costs of £1,229.94 and a victim surcharge of £190. 

Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods said: “The sale of illicit tobacco is something that we know causes active harm to our communities. It makes it both it easier for people to take up smoking in the first place, which we know carries a lifetime of risk, but also makes it harder for people trying to quit. 

“Getting illicit tobacco off our streets and punishing those responsible for selling it sends a clear message that as a Council we will take clear and decisive action to protect the health of our residents. 

“I’m grateful to our Trading Standards Service, legal team and of course Mollie the dog who were able to secure this latest conviction.” 

Andrea Crossfield, Making Smoking History Lead at the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership said: “Illegal tobacco might seem like a bargain but it comes at a high price to our kids and our communities. Legal or illegal, all tobacco contains a toxic cocktail of chemicals which will kill one in two long term smokers. Illegal cigarettes are often responsible for getting children started on this lethal addiction, because of their availability at pocket money prices and because dealers don’t care who they sell to. The crackdown on illegal tobacco is part of wider efforts to cut smoking rates and make smoking history for future generations.” 

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