A 'GREEDY' supermarket owner who was caught with fake cigarettes has been ordered to pay back nearly £20,000 and complete unpaid work.

Alan Mohammed - who ran the International Supermarket, High Street, Banbury, appeared at Oxford Crown Court yesterday to be sentenced

The 33-year-old of Western Crescent, Banbury, had already admitted nine counts relating to the production or supply of counterfeit cigarettes.

Oxfordshire County Council said that on 23 October 2017 Trading Standards Officers inspected the store with a tobacco detection dog.

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They found 4,240 illegal cigarettes in a black holdall, found on the top of a unit in the rear storeroom.

The cigarettes consisted of seven different brands, labelled in three different languages. Whilst none of the cigarettes had been UK duty paid, Mayfair cigarettes were subsequently determined to be counterfeit.

At yesterday's court hearing Mohammed's defence barrister Ben Walker-Nolan said that his client was still working and was now running a supermarket elsewhere.

Sentencing, Judge Maria Lamb said that Mohammed had been 'greedy.'

She said: "At the bottom of this I think it is down to greed and you should be ashamed of yourself.

"As your counsel rightly says you are the author of your own misfortune. You have no one to blame for this situation but yourself."

Mohammed was ordered to pay back £19,900 of his ill-gotten gains and he must carry out 150 hours of unpaid work.

He must also pay a victim surcharge but not no court costs were ordered.

The county council said of the offending that tobacco fraud is reported to cost the UK around £2.5 billion a year.

Treating smoking-related illnesses also costs the National Health Service over £2 billion annually.