Posted on: Friday 3 November 2017
A Cwmbran man has been made to pay £900 after he was caught selling illegal tobacco products on Facebook.
Thomas Chaney, 24, of Greenmeadow was caught following an investigation by Torfaen’s trading standards team which found he was selling large quantities of counterfeit tobacco through the social media site.
A search of his property also found quantities of cannabis and MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy.
Chaney pleaded guilty to offences under the Trade Marks Act 1994 at Newport Crown Court on 27 October 2017. He was fined £500 and ordered to pay costs of £350 and a victim surcharge of £50.
Counterfeit tobacco poses a risk to smokers as producers of these goods are unlikely to ensure that the products are safe and comply with the law. Safety features which stop the cigarette burning if unattended may be missing and other unwanted ingredients may also be present.
Councillor Fiona Cross, executive member for environment, said: “The sale of counterfeit goods is not a victimless crime. Producers and sellers of these products attempt to evade proper legal controls in place to ensure user safety and prevent the supply to those underage.
“It also harms local businesses, and it is estimated that for every 50g of tobacco illegally sold approximately £13 is lost to the treasury which has a massive impact on things like NHS funding.
“We would encourage those who find cigarettes and tobacco too expensive to seek assistance from the smoking cessation services and quit rather than turn to the illegal market.”
Smokers wanting help to quit can contact Stop Smoking Wales on 0800 085 2219.
Anyone with information on individuals selling counterfeit goods can contact the joint Blaenau Gwent and Torfaen trading standards team on 01633 647623 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org