A MAN is set to be sentenced next week after admitting possessing and selling thousands of counterfeit tobacco products and being found with £70,000 in cash.

Mohammad Riaz pleaded guilty to four offences relating to fake cigarettes and tobacco in a hearing at Bradford and Keighley Magistrates' Court on Tuesday, February 22.

The 67-year-old, of Haslingden Drive, Heaton, will appear at Bradford Crown Court on Tuesday, March 15, to be sentenced for the offences.

He admitted two counts of possessing goods with a false trademark for sale or hire on June 1, 2021, first when he had 144 packets of 20 cigarettes bearing packaging likely to be mistaken for Richmond, with the view to cause loss to the company and gain to himself.

The second count referred to 116 50g packets of tobacco bearing fake packaging likely to be mistaken for Golden Virginia.

The further two counts were for producing or supplying a tobacco product in breach of packaging regulations, in the first instance 1,742 products which were not the correct colour, and 538 products which did not carry a combined health warning or one written in English.

After Riaz had pleaded guilty, magistrates ordered his case be sent to Crown Court as their sentencing powers were insufficient due to the high category and culpability of the offending, the risk of harm from the counterfeit items, and because "£70,000 cash was found".

He is to be sentenced on March 15 at Bradford Crown Court and was granted unconditional bail.

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