On 31 May 2018, Gary Williams appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court charged with four (4) offences of Supplying goods which fail to comply with a provision of Part 2 of The Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016, contrary Regulation 48 of The Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016. He pleaded guilty to all matters and was fined £180.
The case was brought by TM Eye as a private criminal prosecution on behalf of Japanese Tobacco International (JTI).
The case follows a four month covert investigation by TM Eye into the sale of illicit tobacco products sold in the vicinity of White Hart Lane Boot sale in Wood Green London N17.
This area is very popular with a large number of customers and shoppers throughout the year and operates on Friday, Saturday and Sundays.
Between the 10 September 2017 and 25 March 2018, four purchases were made of illicit tobacco related products, including Amber Leaf and Golden Virginia rolling tobacco from Gary Williams. Each purchase was video recorded and formed the basis of the evidence leading to the conviction.
Williams operated his criminal activity by placing a cardboard box on the pavement with branded tobacco on top to attract the public. Customers and traders then purchased quantities of illicit Tobacco goods from him.
TM Eye Director David McKelvey said “Those engaged in the sale of illicit tobacco now risk being caught and convicted by TM Eye. We will robustly prosecute those who engage in the manufacture, sale and supply of illicit tobacco on behalf of JTI in order to reduce offending.”
Charlie Cunningham-Reid, UK Head of Corporate Affairs for JTI, said
“We welcome the decision made by the Court in this case. This is the first time JTI has been directly involved in the private prosecution of a criminal selling illegal tobacco. It marks a further step forward in the company’s commitment to help tackle the problem of illegal tobacco and we will not hesitate to take similar action in future.”
Williams will have his fingerprints, photograph and DNA taken by police and the conviction will be recorded on the Police National Computer (PNC).