01 July 2015

A Corby man has been ordered to pay more than £2,000 after admitting offences involving the supply of illegal cigarettes and tobacco.

Northamptonshire Trading Standards officers were carrying out a routine inspection at a shop in Kettering in April 2014 when Rafal Witkiewicz entered the store carrying a black bin bag which was found to contain 280 packets of foreign-labelled cigarettes.

Further investigations revealed that Witkiewicz, 42, of Norse Walk, Corby, was linked to a website which offered illegal cigarettes for sale.

Search warrants were carried out at Witkiewicz’s home on two occasions, during which further illegal cigarette products were seized.

Guilty plea

Witkiewicz pleaded guilty to four offences relating to the sale of illicit and counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco products, and he was fined £400 and ordered to pay £1,700 in court costs during a hearing at Corby Magistrates’ Court Wednesday 17th June.

It follows another successful prosecution for Northamptonshire Trading Standards in May when Himn Sharif, who used to own Grosik Mini Market in Kettering, was convicted of supplying foreign-labelled cigarettes and tobacco. He was ordered to pay more than £3,000 in fines and court costs.

Cllr André González de Savage, county council cabinet member for strategic infrastructure, economic growth and public protection, said: “We will not hesitate to take action against anyone suspected of supplying or selling illegal cigarettes.

“Anyone who is offered cheap tobacco or any other types of illicit goods should report it to Trading Standards, anonymously if preferred, by calling the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”