SACHETS of chewing tobacco that did not carry statutory health warnings were discovered in a secret compartment at a convenience store in Harrow.
Officers from Brent and Harrow Trading Standards visited Londis in Streatfield Road on May 13 last year to carry out a compliance inspection and stumbled across 900 illicit packs.
The service said in a statement: “Upon seeing the officers enter, a cashier immediately ran from the premises.
“This raised the suspicion of the officers, who conducted a search of the premises.
“On open display, the officers found Gutka chewing tobacco which did not have the statutory health warnings.
“Officers also found what they considered to be a hidden compartment on the floor of the shelving units below the till. They pulled this out.
“Inside they found hundreds of additional packets of non compliant chewing tobacco.”
Trading Standards subsequently prosecuted a director of the shop’s parent company Sidana Ltd at Willesden Magistrates’ Court.
Kuljit Singh Sidana, 40, of Fairholme Crescent, Hayes, admitted one offence under the Consumer Protection Act 1987 on June 24.
He was fined £350 and ordered to pay a £35 victim surcharge along with prosecution costs of £350. The court ordered the forfeiture of the illegal tobacco.
Simon Legg, regulatory services manager for Brent and Harrow Trading Standards, said after sentencing: “These warnings are necessary to inform users of chewing tobacco that contrary to popular belief, chewing tobacco is highly addictive.
“Chewing tobacco can cause cancer and a number of noncancerous oral conditions and can lead to nicotine addiction and dependency.
“We have a responsibility to improve the health and well-being of our residents and we believe that Trading Standards enforcement of these, and similar legislation, is integral to achieving that goal.”