AN OXFORD man was caught three times selling illegal cigarettes from a Cowley shop.

Amar Hassan, who used to own Matean Market, admitted six offences at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on Monday.

The court heard that on the December 17, 2017, Oxfordshire County Council's Trading Standards team made a test purchase of Pect cigarettes for £4 from the Hollow Way shop.

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An officer returned to the shop on February 25, 2018 and another test purchase was made, this time another packet of Pect was sold for £4 along with a sleeve containing 200 L & M cigarettes, sold for £40.

On May 20, 2018, an undercover officer bought another sleeve of 200 L & M cigarettes, this time being charged £35. Pect and L & M cigarettes are illegal to sell in the UK. On all three occasions the seller was Hassan.

Oxford Mail:

The 44-year-old of Leander Way, Oxford admitted in interview that he had supplied the dodgy cigarettes on each occasion.

The court heard he knew it was illegal due to a previous warning from HM Revenue & Customs but explained that it was now not his shop and he was just working there.

Matean Market is still trading under new ownership.

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Hassan was ordered to pay a £600 fine with £100 costs and £30 court surcharge.

County councillor Judith Heathcoat said: “This is one of several prosecutions that have either already gone through the courts or will be heard in the coming months. Our message is that peddling counterfeit or smuggled tobacco will not be tolerated and that includes anyone involved in selling them, not just shop owners."

Anyone with information about the illegal sale of tobacco should contact 0300 999 6 999 or report it anonymously via the website

BBC1’s Fake Britain will feature the work of Oxfordshire County Council’s Trading Standards team tonight at 7pm.