Thursday 17 June

On the 11th June 2021, Mr Aras Abdulkadir ALI from Leeds appeared at Kirklees Magistrates Court for selling illegal cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco at his business, Dobre Bo Polskie of 253 Dewsbury Road, Beeston LS115HZ.

Mr Ali pleaded guilty and he was sentenced to a community order with 60 hours unpaid work, ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £85 and told to make a contribution towards legal costs of £350.

The premises was known to West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service (WYTS) with the Service having received complaints about the premises supplying illicit and duty free tobacco.

WYTS visited the business twice and seized illegal tobacco products on each occasion which were counterfeit, did not bear the statutory health warnings, were not in the standardised packaging and were non duty paid. Multiple test purchases were also made from the business. Illegal tobacco was found hidden in a wall behind the counter and in the cellar and a room upstairs. Warnings to stop their illegal activity were ignored by the business. In total 28,780 cigarettes and 5.25kg of hand rolling tobacco was seized.

The Tackling Illicit Tobacco for Better Health Programme, funded by the five Public Health departments, is helping people to stop tobacco use for good by educating the public and by investigating traders who supply cheap and illicit tobacco. The initiative uses multi-agency enforcement and community marketing campaigns to tackle the problems of the illicit trade.

To date the programme has taken nearly 8 million illicit cigarettes and two and half tonnes of illicit hand rolling tobacco off the streets of West Yorkshire. With more inspections planned in the coming weeks, these figures are set to increase. Training sessions with thousands of members of the public and hundreds of front line professionals have been delivered to raise awareness about the dangers and wider criminality associated with the supply of illicit tobacco.

Linda Davis, West Yorkshire Trading Standards Manager said, “Far from being a victimless crime Illegal Tobacco trading creates a cheap source for children and young people and encourages adults to continue smoking by eroding cost motivation to quit. Members of the public should recognise the adverse health, economic and social impacts of the illicit trade of tobacco products, including the linkages with human trafficking and other organised crimes. I would like to thank all the partners and members of the public for reporting illegal sales and encourage everyone to continue doing so to reduce the harm caused by tobacco in our communities.”

If you need to report a trader selling cheap and illicit tobacco please contact the Illegal Tobacco Hotline on 0300 999 0000 or report it at https://keep-it-out.co.uk/ anonymously.

More information about the campaign can be found on the website and anyone wanting help to quit can find their local Stop Smoking Service at

https://www.nhs.uk/smokefree