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Sniffer dog Mollie uncovers 13,000 illegal cigarettes in Manchester shop

Specially-trained Mollie also uncovered nearly 5kg of illegal tobacco at the premises on Stockport Road.

A super sniffer dog has been praised for uncovering a haul of illegal tobacco products at a shop in Manchester.

Tobacco detection dog, Mollie, helped Trading Standards officers locate the find on a visit to Superstore, in Stockport Road, in December 2019.

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During a search Mollie sniffed out a cache of illegal tobacco hidden in a rear storeroom of the shop, as well as on a hidden shelf. A total of 13,050 cigarettes and 4.5kg of rolling tobacco were detected and confiscated.

Illegal tobacco products found by a sniffer dog at Superstore, in Stockport Road, Manchester Credit: MCC

What happened next?

The director of the company Djemal Dulovi, 53, of Chapel Street, Levenshulme, was invited to an interview by Trading Standards.

At a hearing held at Manchester Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, 27, 2022, January, Dulovi appeared charged with four offences under the Trade Marks Act 1994, one charge under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016, and one charge under the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015. Both Dulovi and the company pleaded guilty to all offences. He was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 60 hours of unpaid work. He was also ordered to pay costs of £329, and a victim surcharge of £95. The company, Superstore MCR Ltd., was sentenced to pay a £2,500 fine, pay costs of £1,229.94 and a victim surcharge of £190.

Illegal tobacco products found by a sniffer dog at Superstore, in Stockport Road, Manchester Credit: MCC

What has been said after the case?

Coun Rabnawaz Akbar, executive member for neighbourhoods, said: “The sale of illicit tobacco is something that we know causes active harm to our communities. It makes it both it easier for people to take up smoking in the first place, which we know carries a lifetime of risk, but also makes it harder for people trying to quit. “Getting illicit tobacco off our streets and punishing those responsible for selling it sends a clear message that as a Council we will take clear and decisive action to protect the health of our residents.

“I’m grateful to our Trading Standards Service, legal team and of course Mollie the dog who were able to secure this latest conviction.” Andrea Crossfield, Making Smoking History Lead at the Greater Manchester Health and Social Care Partnership, added: “Illegal tobacco might seem like a bargain but it comes at a high price to our kids and our communities.

“The crackdown on illegal tobacco is part of wider efforts to cut smoking rates and make smoking history for future generations.”