Convenience Store Norton Closed for Selling Illegal Tobacco
According to a report by Stockton, a convenience store called Norton has been ordered to close on December 7th due to allegations of selling counterfeit and illegal tobacco products to children. This legal order was officially issued on Wednesday, December 6th, by the Teesside Magistrates' Court for the Norton store located on Norton Road. It is valid for three months and will be enforced by the Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council.
During the trial of the convenience store, the court highlighted that a pack of cigarettes was being sold for only 5 pounds, significantly below the average market price. These tobacco packages lacked identification numbers and did not adhere to standardized packaging, thereby violating the regulations outlined in the 2015 Tobacco Product Standardized Packaging Act. Additionally, they did not display the required health warning labels as mandated by law.
Norma Stephenson, a member of the Stockton-Tes District Council's Community and Community Safety Cabinet, expressed:
The outcome of this case is reassuring, especially considering that it involves the sale of illegal tobacco to children. We maintain a zero-tolerance stance towards the sale of counterfeit and illegal tobacco, and offenders will be dealt with severely.
The chief of the Stockton Community Police Department, Dan Heron, stated that illegal tobacco is causing real harm to our community, not only in terms of underage tobacco purchases but also impacting legitimate businesses. Illegal tobacco is often used to directly fund organized crime.
This task is part of "Operation Cece," a joint effort by the National Trade Standards and Customs Administration to combat illegal tobacco sales.
Lord Michael Bichard, Chairman of the National Trading Standards Committee in the UK, has stated that the illicit tobacco trade is causing harm to local communities and affecting law-abiding honest businesses.
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