A man from Trecenydd has been ordered to pay more than £15,000 for selling fake cigarettes and tobacco.
Michael Morton, of Second Avenue, was caught by undercover Trading Standards officers from Caerphilly County Borough Council.
On Friday, April 26, Morton was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £85 and £500 costs to Caerphilly Trading Standards. The court also made a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002, totalling £15,017.36.
Morton sold undercover officers a carton of 200 ‘Richmond’ cigarettes for £40, which were proven to be counterfeit.
Trading Standards searched Morton’s home in November 2017 and seized 2,480 counterfeit cigarettes and around 10kg of hand rolling tobacco, a small amount of which was fake.
None of the packaging on any of the tobacco or cigarettes was marked properly with health warnings, and no excise duty had been paid on any of the products. Officers also found more than £15,000 in cash at Morton’s home.
Morton admitted a number of offences under the Trade Marks Act 1994 at Newport Crown Court in November, including selling and being in possession of fake tobacco products.
He also pleaded guilty for selling and possessing tobacco products not labelled with health warnings, under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations Act 2016, as well as avoiding paying tax duty on tobacco products under the Customs and Excise Management Act 1979.
Morton was also sentenced to 100 hours of unpaid work.
Cllr Eluned Stenner, Cabinet Member for Environment and Public Protection, said: “Counterfeit cigarettes are often even more harmful than the legitimate product, as there are no controls governing their production or over their supply to children.
“Our Trading Standards team work tirelessly to tackle the sale and supply of counterfeit items, and I’m pleased the court has emphasised the seriousness of this offence in the sentence it has imposed.”