Cigarette seizure

Illegal cigarettes costs Dagenham business owner thousands of pounds

An owner of a business in Dagenham has pleaded guilty in court to selling illegal cheap cigarettes from his shop.

Mr Vasile-Ciprian Popa of La Popa Magazin Romanesc of Becontree Avenue, Dagenham, was caught selling illegal cigarettes in March and September last year.

In total, Trading Standards Officers from Barking and Dagenham Council and trained sniffer dogs found and seized 4,942 illicit cigarettes.

Mr Popa was summoned to Barkingside Magistrates Court on Tuesday 18 April where he pleaded guilty to possession and supplying illegal and cheap cigarettes. The judge ordered Mr Popa to pay a fine of £1,000, costs to Barking and Dagenham Council of £1,131 and a Victim Surcharge of £140, totalling £2,270.

The business La Popa Ltd was also fined £400.

Councillor Syed Ghani, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety said: “This is about the health of our residents. The bottom line is that shops selling illegal cigarettes are putting people at risk. 

“As the cigarettes do not meet UK regulations, we can’t be sure what is in them. We won’t stand for it and will continue to crack down on these businesses.” 

If residents are aware of a business selling illegal cigarettes, they should let the council know by email