A SHOP boss caught selling counterfeit cigarettes has been ordered to carry out 70 hours of unpaid work.

Last year Zeashan Mohammed Din’s premises licence for AHZ News on Sandhurst Drive, Breightmet was revoked by Bolton Council.

Trading standards officials had visited the shop with a tobacco detection dog on March 27, 2019 and seized packets of cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco under the counter, some of which were found to be counterfeit.

At the time Din claimed the cigarettes were for personal use by himself, his son and another member of staff and were not being sold.

Din claimed that his brother had brought the open packets of Richmond and Lambert and Butler cigarettes back from Holland three weeks earlier

At the licensing hearing Din claimed the cigarettes were kept under the counter because if he put them in his jeans pocket they would break when he sat down.

But at Wigan Magistrates’ Court, after initially denying offering counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco for sale, 42-year-old Din, of Burnage Lane, Manchester, pleaded guilty to a total of six offences relating to 15 packets of Richmond cigarettes, nine packets of Lambert and Butler cigarettes and seven packets of hand-rolling tobacco.

In addition to the unpaid work, Din was banned for being a company director for five years and was ordered to pay £2,000 towards Bolton Council’s prosecution costs plus an £85 victim surcharge.