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Lancashire
Friday, May 17, 2024

Lancashire retailers prosecuted for selling e-cigarettes to underage buyers

Two South Lancashire businesses have been prosecuted for illegally selling e-cigarettes to underage test purchasers – one in school uniform.

Zaishan Jahanghir, owner of Mr Zees takeaway on Chapel Street, Chorley, pleaded guilty to four offences at Lancaster Magistrates court in December.

He was caught on video encouraging a 13-year-old volunteer test purchaser to tell their friends that they were the ‘cheapest in town’ for vapes.

During the visit, Trading Standards officers found stocks of illicit vapes hidden in takeaway pizza boxes. The business also faced an offence for advertising e-cigarettes on Facebook.

Jahanghir was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment suspended for 18 months, 150 hours of unpaid work, 15 days rehabilitation activity, a £100 fine for selling an e-cigarette to a child and £150 breaching a suspended sentence for drink driving as well as prohibited from having three or more e-cigarettes in his possession at any one time.

Arif Patel, company director at Euro News Ltd, trading as EN News on Orchard Street in Preston, was sentenced for the sale of an e-cigarette to a 14-year-old girl dressed in school uniform. Magistrates fined Patel £250 and ordered him to pay £250 costs. The business, Euro News Ltd was ordered to pay £513 plus £355 in surcharge and costs.

Councillor Michael Green said: “Our Trading Standards officers are kept busy investigating complaints about illicit sales to young people. These cases show that continued criminality will eventually catch up with offenders.

“Not only was Mr Zees takeaway shut down for six months by the district council last year using anti-social behaviour legislation, this shop was causing problems selling vapes to young people alongside pizzas. This is completely unacceptable and had to be dealt with seriously.

“Our Trading Standards team will always take robust action against those who openly break the law.”

Anyone with concerns about the sale of any age-restricted products can report these to Trading Standards on 0808 223 1133.

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