Illegal cigarettes hidden in fridge

A stash of illicit cigarettes were discovered hidden in the top of a fridge at a newsagent’s shop.

Officers from the city council’s Alcohol and Tobacco Unit searched the Zabka shop in Smithdown Road in September.

A specially trained sniffer dog indicated a fridge where soft drinks were stored. When the plastic top of the fridge was detached it revealed 4500 smuggled cigarettes.

The shop’s owner Mr Sharo Karim, of Asbridge Street, Liverpool 8, pleaded guilty to an offence under the Consumer Protection Act, at Liverpool Magistrates Court.

He was ordered to serve a community order for12 months, carry out 120 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £300 costs.

Councillor Steve Munby, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said: “Shop owners who carry out this sort of illegal activity should realise that we will take the strongest  possible action against them.

“The Alcohol and Tobacco Unit have carried out a number of recent  operations and regardless of how well the shop  may think they have concealed illegal cigarettes they will be discovered and heavy penalties imposed.”