Man jailed after thousands of illegal cigarettes found in Worthing and Poole properties

Sniffer dogs helped discover the illicit supplies
Sniffer dogs helped discover the illicit supplies

A man has been jailed for selling and storing illegal tobacco in Worthing.

In a statement, West Sussex County Council said Mohammed Hoshyar Khidir, 26, was sentenced to 27 months in prison after officers found 128 tobacco pouches and 478 packets of cigarettes at properties in Worthing and Poole in Dorset.

Mr Khidir pleaded guilty to ten charges at Lewes Crown Court following a joint investigation by West Sussex Trading Standards and Poole Borough Council Trading Standards.

Sniffer dogs were deployed to help officers track down the illicit supplies.

Richard Sargeant, West Sussex Trading Standards team manager, said: “This prison sentence highlights the seriousness of the crime committed.

“It is also an excellent example of two Trading Standards teams successfully working together to bring an offender to justice.”

Debbie Kennard, West Sussex County Council cabinet member for safer, stronger communities, said: “Fake cigarettes are often much cheaper than legitimate products, making them an attractive option for younger people and therefore encouraging them to start smoking.

“They also come with many health risks and the fact that they often do not self-extinguish makes them particularly dangerous.

“It is really important that we put a stop to the sale of these products and I am hope this outcome sends a clear message that this illegal selling will not be tolerated in West Sussex.”

Anyone concerned about the sale of illegal tobacco and cigarettes should contact the Citizens Advice Consumer Helpline on 03454 04 05 06 or can report details online at www.westsussex.gov.uk/tsreport