Former shopkeeper prosecuted

A former Telford shopkeeper has admitted seven offences of selling and having in her possession illegal tobacco products.

Former shopkeeper prosecuted
Gabriella Bujniak, of Polski Marysia Sklep in Hadley, pleaded guilty at Telford Magistrates Court on Wednesday. (9 DEC).

Ms Bujniak, who lives in Regent Street, Wellington received a community order for 12 months with 100 hours unpaid work. 

She was also ordered to pay full costs of £1974.31, a court charge of £180 and a victim surcharge of £60.  A forfeiture and destruction order in respect of all the items seized was also made.

The prosecution was brought ollowing an investigation by Telford & Wrekin Council’s Trading Standards Service.

Ms Bujniak admitted three counts under the Trade Marks Act 1994 relating to the sales of counterfeit cigarettes, three under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 due to breaches of the Tobacco Products (Manufacture, Presentation and Sale) (Safety) Regulations 2002 and one offence under the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion Act 2002.

The court heard that the illegal tobacco was found hidden in refuse in a yard at the rear of the premises and in total, over 10,000 cigarettes and nearly 4kg of hand rolling tobacco were seized.

Liz Noakes, Assistant Director for Health, Wellbeing and Public Protection, said: “Children and young smokers are often targeted by people selling illegal cigarettes, making it even easier to get hooked on smoking.  Cheap cigarettes also make it harder for people to quit and remain smokefree.

“Successful prosecutions such as these highlight the fact that people engaging in this illegal industry are not getting away with it.

“We welcome any further information that the public can provide to help us identify other people involved in this criminal activity.”

If residents have any concerns about tobacco products being sold at this shop, or any others in the borough, they should report it to Trading Standards on 01952 381818, or alternatively reports can be made using the automated trading standards number 0300 303 2636.