"protect our residents from unscrupulous traders."
A Cash and Carry owner has been fined more than £25,000 after a large number of counterfeit iPhones and banned tobacco were found in his shop.
Asif Aziz Khan is the owner of the well known BB Fatima Cash store on Ilford Lane in East London.
The fake iPhones and banned tobacco were discovered by the local authorities during a raid using tobacco detection dogs.
Redbridge Council investigators had been working to crack down on smuggled and illegal goods.
Khan and his company Iqra Halal Meat Ltd, which trades as BB Fatima Cash and Carry, were each fined £11,700 and told to pay £950 costs at Snaresbrook Crown Court. The amount totalled to £25,300.
They were convicted following a trial. The Council has now confirmed that the fine has been paid and BB Fatima Cash and Carry and other stores are now under observation.
Redbridge Council’s Trading Standards worked with tobacco detection dogs. They found large quantities of smuggled tobacco in Khan’s shop.
They also found 160 fake iPhones, along with more illicit tobacco inside a locked office.
The phone screens were not real and there were no working parts. The phones only contained a lump of metal to give them weight.
Councillor Jas Athwal, Leader of Redbridge Council, said:
“This is a great result for our Trading Standards team.
“We’re determined to protect our residents from unscrupulous traders.
“Redbridge Council works tirelessly to stamp out criminal behaviour and take illegal goods off our streets.
“These products are unregulated and are often found not to meet UK health and safety standards.”
Khan had claimed that the phones were to be used as dummies in a proposed mobile phone business, however, he was not able to provide any evidence to back up the claims.
The court did not believe his story and convicted him.
Councillor Athwal explained that crimes like this give illegal operators an unfair advantage over those who are trading fairly.
He went on to say: “The illegal trade also puts legitimate retailers at a disadvantage, who sell genuine products in competition with illegal untaxed articles, so we won’t let up on bringing those who flout the law to court.”
The case was initially heard at Barkingside Magistrates’ Court, but Khan chose to go to trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court where he was convicted.