Shopkeeper fined for selling counterfeit products in Sunbury-on-Thames
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A shopkeeper has been fined after he was found selling counterfeit products in a joint purchasing operation run by Surrey Police and Surrey and Buckinghamshire Trading Standards.
On 19 September 2020, officers carried out an undercover test purchase operation in Sunbury-on-Thames. They were accompanied by Trading Standards Officers as well as Surrey Police Cadets under the age of 18. The cadets were tasked with attempting to buy Nitrous Oxide (NOS) from the premises.
Sunbury Food and Wine was one of the shops visited by the team. Two cadets asked to purchase NOS cannisters and balloons and on both occasions Mandeep Singh-Soni, the cashier and owner of the shop, produced the cannisters from underneath the counter and sold them to the teenagers, without asking any questions.
These transactions were witnessed by an officer and a PCSO who were also in the store. Following this, the premises was searched by Trading Standards and Drugs Liaison officers. They found and seized various items of counterfeit tobacco and alcohol, along with a large quantity of NOS cannisters.
When asked about the illicit tobacco and vodka, Singh-Soni said he was visited by different suppliers who offered to sell him the cigarettes and vodka, which they claimed were genuine, for a cheap price.
On Wednesday, 19 January 2022, at High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court, Mandeep Singh-Soni, 50, of Staines Road West, Sunbury-on-Thames, pleaded guilty to:
· One count under the Psychoactive Substances Act 2016
· Two counts under the Trade Mark Act 1994
· Two counts under the Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016
· One count under the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products Regulations 2015
· One count of possession with intent to supply cannabis
He was sentenced to a 12-month community order where he must complete 160 hours of unpaid work. Singh-Soni is also required to pay £229 in fines and received a caution in relation to the drugs offence.
PC Richard Sadler said: “This operation was part of our ongoing commitment to ensure that safety of the younger members of our community. Shop owners have a responsibility to make sure they are operating in accordance with the law. Members of the public are encouraged to report instances where they think Nitrous Oxide is being sold to under 18s, or counterfeit products are being sold, to Trading Standards.”
Kevin Deanus, Surrey County Council Cabinet Member for Community Protection said: “I am pleased this reckless and irresponsible individual has been brought to justice.
“Counterfeit and illicit goods have no place here and we will continue to ensure we keep the residents of Surrey safe.
“This sentence is testament to the hard work our Trading Standards officers carried out during this investigation, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them for that.”
Images of some of the products found within the shop: