by Tanya O’Rourke T&A Reporter A Bradford shopkeeper traded in illicit cigarettes and tobacco from his city-centre store, a Court heard.

Barzan Mahmad, 25, who owned Ivegate News in Ivegate, pleaded guilty to a series of charges relating to illegal tobacco products which were found at his shop by Trading Standards officers.

Bradford and Keighley Magistrates’ Court was told yesterday although Mahmad’s case did not involve very large amounts of illegal tobacco, the illicit trade costs the Inland Revenue about £10 million per day.

Mahmad admitted four charges relating to the possession of counterfeit tobacco products, five relating to products not carrying statutory health warnings and one charge of not displaying a sign stating that tobacco could not be sold to anyone under the age of 18.

Prosecutor Harjit Ryatt told the court Trading Standards officers visited the premises on May 3, 2011, and again on July 8 – recovering illicit cigarettes and tobacco both times.

The first seizure was of 13 packets of Amber Leaf rolling tobacco, 11 packets of Golden Virginia tobacco, 1,120 Jin Ling cigarettes and 950 Marlboro Red cigarettes.

Further cigarettes and tobacco were seized during the July raid.

Steven Brocklehurst, for Mahmad, said his client took over the shop in May last year, at which time it became apparent there were people who, on going abroad – particularly to Poland – would buy tobacco as part of their duty free allowance and sell it on to the shop owner.

“Clearly it was a process that had been going on for some time with the previous owner,” Mr Brocklehurst said.

Chairman of the Magistrates’ Bench Elaine Marsden said: “In making a profit from these tobacco goods you have purposefully done it with full knowledge.”

He was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 60 hours’ unpaid work. He has been ordered to pay costs of £1,195 and the illegal products have been forfeited.

Speaking after the case a spokesman for West Yorkshire Trading Standards said the organisation takes a “very hard line” on those found to be selling counterfeit tobacco.

He said: “The fact that so many cheap, illicit cigarettes are on sale is seriously undermining Government efforts to encourage people to quit smoking. In addition those who deal in illicit tobacco are evading tax which has an obvious damaging effect on legitimate business and the wider economy.”