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‘European Market’ shop on Dagenham Heathway prosecuted for illegal cigarettes

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Longland Shop

Longland Shop, titled ‘European Market’ on the Heathway, Dagenham, was caught selling illegal cigarettes on at-least three occasions during 2022-2023 by the council’s Trading Standards Officers and a tobacco detection dog.

Hundreds of illegal cigarettes were discovered hidden in a variety of places, including under the counter, in carrier bags, and on one occasion, a member of staff attempted to smuggle them out the back of the shop.

Longland Shop continued to sell illegal cigarettes despite the council engaging with them on numerous occasions and providing them with multiple chances to obtain compliance guidance on what items are allowed to be sold in the UK.

As a result, the business and its director, Cosmin-Alexandru Taralunga, were summoned to Barkingside Magistrates Court on Tuesday 31 October 2023 where they pleaded guilty to having in their possession illicit tobacco for supply.

Cosmin-Alexandru Taralunga
Cosmin-Alexandru Taralunga, Longland Shop’s director (Image; OC)

The company was ordered to pay a fine of £1,000, costs to Barking and Dagenham Council of £1,887.50 and a Victim Surcharge of £400, totalling £3,287.50. Mr Taralunga also has to pay a further £120.

Councillor Syed Ghani, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety said: “We take a strong stance against businesses selling illegal products especially ones that could impact on people’s health.

“The business was caught numerous times and failed to learn its lesson. They now have to pay a hefty fine. We will continue to work hard to crack down on this rule breaking.”

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