Shop owner selling counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco ends up in court

A Boston shopkeeper who had a stash of 5,000 counterfeit cigarettes and 1kg of illicit rolling tobacco has been given a suspended prison sentence.

The cigarettes were hidden in the kitchen area

Trading Standards officers and police found the illegal goods hidden in a kitchen area at the back of Tauras LT ltd store on West Street last February.

Owner Timors Timurs Olehnovics was prosecuted by Lincolnshire Trading Standards, and appeared before magistrates recently.

He, admitted he had been selling the cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco for around a month. During interview after the goods were found, he said he knew he should not be selling them but claimed he needed the extra cash.

He also admitted attempting to conceal the products in a 'hide' to avoid them being found by the likes of Trading Standards or the police.

At Boston Magistrates Court earlier this month, Olehnovics, 34, of King Street, Boston, was given a 26-week prison sentence, suspended for two years.

He was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work in the community; and fined a total of £1,318.73.

Since the seizure of the illicit tobacco, Olehnovics has closed the store.

Alan Griffin from Lincolnshire Trading Standards, said: "Mr Olehnovics was well aware that what he was doing was wrong, and the products he was peddling were dangerous.

"This latest prosecution is further evidence that Lincolnshire Trading Standards is serious about tackling illicit tobacco in the county. The sale of these products attracts other anti-social behaviour and criminality, and any information residents have about counterfeit and illegal cigarettes can help us stub it out."