Illicit sellers fined in court

Brent's Trading Standards Team won three prosecution cases in Court last week against retailers who ignored the law.

Pritesh Velgi of Bridgewater Road, Wembley, pleaded guilty to five offences regarding tobacco products which did not comply with health warnings and the standardised packaging. This was the first time Mr Velgi, 31, had been in court, although he had previously been warned about possessing these illicit products and not to supply them. Willesden Magistrates ordered Mr Velgi to pay a £500 fine, £1,131.40 in costs and a £50 victim surcharge -writes

A similar case of tobacco products not complying with health regulations and standardised packaging was brought against Jaydeep Thakker and Sangit Pann House Ltd in High Road, Wembley. Mr Thakker, 36, had previously pleaded guilty on behalf of himself and the company to six charges regarding this offence. The Court heard that he had been convicted for similar offences in October 2016, for which he was ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work. Willesden Magistrates handed Mr Thakker a six week custodial sentence for each charge to run concurrently suspended for 12 months. Sangit Pann House Ltd was fined £300 as well as £400 in costs, plus a victim surcharge of £30.

In the third case, Ali Hamza, the 52-year-old director of Pound Town Ltd in Kingsbury Road, Kingsbury, pleaded guilty on behalf of the company Pound Town Ltd for selling an eleven inch carving knife to two 15-year-old children. Willesden Magistrates explained that they were taking this incident very seriously as this was the second offence committed by this company within a year. Pound Town Ltd was fined £2,700 and ordered to pay costs of £941 alongside a £170 victim surcharge.

Cllr Tom Miller, Brent Council's cabinet member responsible for Trading Standards, said:

"The Council is committed to the health and safety of Brent residents. Our Trading Standards team will continue to ensure retailers comply with the plain packaging laws and packets of cigarettes feature the correct health warnings. We will also not hesitate to take action against irresponsible retailers who illegally sell knives to children, supporting the Mayor's Knife Crime Strategy to keep Londoners safe."

All three cases were heard on 06 February in Willesden Magistrates Court.

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