Smoked: Moston shopkeeper fined £1,000 for selling cigarettes to underage kids

A Moston shop owner has been fined £1,000 for selling tobacco products to an underage person following a sting operation by trading standards.

Mohammed Iltsham, owner of Royal Wines on Moston Lane, was caught out by a test purchase organised by Manchester City Council’s trading standards officers last August.

Two 15-year-old volunteers who took part in the operation were asked to enter the store and attempt to buy tobacco products.

During the sting, which took place last August, the two volunteers were sold 10 Mayfair cigarettes without being asked for any form of identification.

Councillor Bernard Priest, deputy leader of Manchester City Council, said: “There is no excuse for selling cigarettes to someone who is under-age.

“Age limits are there to protect young people from the dangers of smoking and if shop attendants are going to ignore these laws then they will be prosecuted.”

To make matters worse, Iltsham subsequently failed to attend his hearing on March 18 at Manchester and Salford Magistrates’ Court.

Although absent from court Iltsham was fined £600 and ordered to pay £381 in costs with a £60 victims of crime surcharge.

Mr Iltsham later went on to reveal that he had not provided any of his staff with any training on how to identify under age customers.

In July 2014, the public health charity ASH published a study which reported that an estimated 207,000 children in the UK start smoking each year and two-thirds of adults took up smoking before the age of 18.

An amendment to the Criminal Justice and Immigration act in April 2009 included a banning order for retailers who persistently sell tobacco products to persons under the age of 18.

Royal Wines were the subject of a police raid in February after illegally selling alcohol just months after failing to qualify for an alcohol license.

This latest sting has seen a number of stores investigated for similar offences in recent years.

Mr Iltsham was not available for comment.

Image courtesy of Google Maps, with thanks.

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