Counterfeit tobacco seller ordered to pay £75,000

Cigarettes seized by HMRC
Cigarettes seized by HMRC

A woman has been forced to pay £75,000 after being found selling hundreds of fake tobacco products.

A confiscation order for the cash was made this week at Glasgow Sheriff Court against 49-year-old Fiona McCabe.

On 12 May, 2013, officers from Glasgow City Council’s Trading Standards Unit carried out a test purchase at Blochairn Market, which confirmed counterfeit tobacco was being sold.

A total of 255 tobacco products were then seized by Trading Standards from Fiona McCabe’s stall.

In September 2014 the accused plead guilty to contraventions of Sections 92(1)(B) and 92 (1)(C) of the Trade Marks Act 1994 and Section 12(1) of the Consumer Protection Act 1987 and the following month was sentenced to a 260-hour Community Payback Order.

Lindsey Miller, Procurator Fiscal for Organised Crime and Counter-Terrorism, said: “Counterfeit goods of any type undermine legitimate businesses and steal tax revenue from the public purse.

“Illicit tobacco products of this type can also contain any number of substances of which the purchaser is unaware, making them even more hazardous to health than legally-purchased cigarettes.

“Fiona McCabe sought to line her pockets from this trade and today has had a confiscation order made for her entire estate.

“Should further assets be uncovered, we will seek to raise the order until she has repaid all of his illegal earnings.

“The funds recovered will be provided to Scottish Ministers for use through the CashBack for Communities scheme.”