Cigarettes duo must pay back ill-gotten cash

Day to Day Bargains, Central Drive. Picture: Google

Day to Day Bargains, Central Drive. Picture: Google

A shop owner and his manager have been ordered to pay back a total of £35,000 of ill-gotten gains after peddling hundreds of fake cigarettes from a Blackpool store.

Mohammed Ali Anwar, 42, and Mubarak Patel, 31, had previously pleaded guilty to counterfeit offences after being rumbled during two test purchases by Trading Standards officers at Day to Day Bargains on Central Drive, Blackpool last December.

That’s also the amount you have available and that’s what you will pay

The men, who were each sentenced to 150 hours of unpaid work, have now been hit financially under Proceeds of Crime Act legislation, after Preston Crown Court heard Anwar, of Manchester Road, Blackburn, had benefited from their crimes by £31,000 and Patel, of Sandpiper Close, Blackburn, by £4,000.

During the first visit officers discovered the cigarettes stashed away on high shelves to avoid detection by sniffer dogs.

In their return to the store they saw a worker going to the boot of a car and taking counterfeit cigarettes from there.

Both times they discovered cigarettes with false trademarks and imported cigarettes which did not bear the correct health warning labels.

Judge James Adkin said: “Patel, you were found to have benefited by £4,000 and the available amount to have is £4,000, so that’s the amount you will pay.

“In your case Anwar its agreed the benefit is £31,989.

“That’s also the amount you have available and that’s what you will pay. I also make an order for the cigarettes to be forfeited.”

Patel must pay £1,000 costs and Anwar must pay £8,010 costs. Both face a jail term in default if they do not pay the cash back within three months.

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