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Illicit trader now behind bars

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A man who pleaded guilty to selling illegal tobacco in a shop in Brierley Hill and originally avoided jail back in 2019, now finds himself behind bars.

Following an investigation by Dudley Council’s Trading Standards, a case was brought against Ali Ibrahim Hamad of 107 Huntingdon Road, West Bromwich for the sale of illegal tobacco in his shop, Istanbul Mini Market, in Brierley Hill.

He pleaded guilty and was sentenced in April 2019 for offences under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016, Trade Marks Act 1994 and Money Laundering under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

At the time he was given a suspended sentence of 18 months, 150 hours of unpaid work, ordered to pay costs of £5028.50 and a Confiscation Order of £58,923.09 was made.

After asking for an extension to the time to repay the money, he failed to attend an enforcement court hearing and the court issued a warrant for his arrest.

Ongoing trading standards investigations found that since the original court case and the confiscation order was made, the defendant had acquired an expensive vehicle.

He was eventually arrested and brought in front of Birmingham Magistrates on June 17.

The court ordered him to serve a 181 day default sentence and the confiscation order currently stands at £65,905.45 due to interest accrued.

Councillor Nicolas Barlow, cabinet member responsible for trading standards, said:

This is case of someone thinking they can evade the legal process and fail to pay the consequences they have been given through a court of law.
The defendant hasn’t helped his case by failing to come to hearings and not repaying the confiscation order.
I’m pleased with the result of the most recent court action. This once again sends a clear message to anyone in the trade of illicit goods that we take these cases incredibly seriously and the legal process is there to bring them to justice.
We continue to investigate other claims of illicit traders in our borough.

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