Home » Selling fake tobacco doesn’t pay
News Top News

Selling fake tobacco doesn’t pay

Rhodri Jones and Emyr Phillip: Special guests at Tycroes’ St. David’s Day celebrations.

crowncourtA FELINFOEL man will have £4,800 proceeds of crime confiscated after being jailed for possessing counterfeit tobacco with intent to supply.

Terrance Rees appeared at Swansea Crown Court last Friday for sentence having previously pleaded guilty to offences under Section 92 of the Trade Marks Act 1994.

The court was told that in April 2013 police found about 200 branded 50gram tobacco pouches of Golden Virginia, Amber Leaf and Cutters Choice at Rees’s flat in Bryn Siriol, Felinfoel. The pouches were seized on the presumption they were counterfeit. Rees later admitted to the police when interviewed the tobacco was counterfeit.

Carmarthenshire County Council Trading Standards Officer Stuart Lane obtained the pouches from the police and subsequently samples were sent to the brand holders, Imperial Tobacco for Golden Virginia, Gallaher Ltd for Amber Leaf and John Sinclair Ltd for Cutters Choice. All were confirmed as counterfeit. Samples of the genuine and counterfeit products were also sent to Eurofins Laboratory for analysis for the presence of heavy metals and the nicotine content (smoke test).

A Report from toxicologist Dr Edward Bliss who has commented on figures obtained from the Eurofin Laboratory analysis showed it was clearly apparent that the counterfeit tobacco was far more serious to health than the genuine article on the basis of high levels of heavy metals found, the court heard.

Rees, aged 71 was sentenced to four weeks’ imprisonment (concurrent) for each of the s 92 Trade Marks Act offences. The Judge ordered forfeiture and destruction of the tobacco.

An order was made under the Proceeds of Crime Act for the confiscation of £4,800 from Rees.

Carmarthenshire County Council executive board member for public protection Cllr Jim Jones said: “Counterfeiting costs legitimate businesses dearly and damages the economy. In this case it is also clear that the counterfeit tobacco is more harmful to health than the genuine products. The court has clearly taken these offences very seriously.”