Pontypool trader guilty of selling counterfeit cigarettes

Posted on: Friday 29 September 2023

A Cardiff man has been charged for selling counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco in Pontypool.

Ali Abbas Jasim Kurdi of Llys Maelfryn, Malvern Drive, Llanishen, Cardiff has been working at “Ponty Shop” of 133 Osborne Road, Pontypool, since December 2020, and then in May 2021 became the sole director of the shop’s holding company ‘House of Ponty Ltd’

Officers from the Council’s Trading Standards Team received complaints that the business was selling counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco which lead to their investigation.

Subsequent visits to the premises found significant quantities of illegal cigarettes and tobacco valued at over £9K hidden in vehicles associated with the business. The tobacco, cigarettes and two vehicles were subsequently seized. The tax and duty avoided for the goods would have been over £5K under HMRC guidelines.

Kurdi appeared in Newport Magistrates Court on Thursday 28September 2023, after previously pleading guilty to 10 charges. These included nine trademark offences, and one charge of fraud for the possession and sales of counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco.

The court requested a pre-sentence probation report before sentencing Kurdi to a 12-month community order, during which time he must undertake 120 hours unpaid work in the community.  He was ordered to pay £989.52 costs and a victim surcharge of £95.  The court also ordered the forfeiture and destruction on all items seized, including the two vehicles. 

Councillor Mandy Owen, Executive Member for the Environment stated: “The sentence is a clear indication of how seriously these offences are viewed by the court.

“The sale of counterfeit goods is not a victimless crime and genuine retailers in Torfaen will continue to be protected from unfair competition posed by individuals involved in these activities.

“Illegal cigarettes and tobacco have been found to contain a range of harmful chemicals which could be damaging to a person’s health, making them extremely dangerous. 

“I would urge anyone with concerns about the sale of illegal cigarettes and tobacco to contact the Council’s Trading Standards team.” 

Anyone with information about counterfeit goods, can contact the Trading Standards Team on 01633 647623 or e-mail trading.standards@torfaen.gov.uk  

Further information about trading standards can be found here  

Last Modified: 29/09/2023 Back to top