A Chepstow shopkeeper has been found guilty of six charges including the possession for supply of counterfeit and illegally-labelled tobacco along with possession and exposure for supply of canisters of nitrous oxide deemed to be unsafe.  Farhank Ameen, the owner of the European Mini Market, Welsh St, Chepstow was fined £1,400 and ordered to pay £1,100 costs at Newport Magistrates Court on Friday 25th November.

 The prosecution followed an investigation by Monmouthshire’s trading standards officers after they received information from members of the public that the shop was selling cheap cigarettes which were believed to be counterfeit.

Trading standards officers visited the store on more than one occasion earlier this year seizing over 900 packets of cigarettes and more than 500 pouches of tobacco.  A proportion of these was found to be counterfeit and the rest failed to satisfy required safety warnings.  Officers also seized over 1,100 canisters of nitrous oxide – a product commonly known as laughing gas – which lacked correct warning labels and were suspected of being sold for the purposes of intoxication.

 Trading Standards Team Leader Gareth Walters said that tackling the supply of illegal tobacco was a Trading Standards priority and that his officers would continue to investigate any reports received.

 Council Leader Peter Fox added: “Our officers will take action and prosecute cases where there is evidence and we will do all within our power to protect residents from this type of illegal behaviour.”