Grantham couple caught selling 26,000 illegal cigarettes and tobacco

Illegal cigarettes seized by officers investigating Mick and Anne Embling.

Illegal cigarettes seized by officers investigating Mick and Anne Embling.

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A Grantham husband and wife have been sentenced at crown court after they were caught selling thousands of illegal cigarettes and tobacco.

Mick Embling and his wife Anne have been sentenced for selling illegal cigarettes and tobacco from two houses in Grantham.

The couple were sentenced at Lincoln Crown Court this week following a joint Lincolnshire Trading Standards and Lincolnshire Police operation in November 2014.

Thanks to intelligence received from members of the public, officers found 10kg of tobacco and more than 26,000 cigarettes with foreign labels during raids on two properties in Goodliff Road and Welland Court, Grantham, with the help of tobacco sniffer dogs provided by Wagtails UK.

Mrs Embling, age 42, of Welland Court, Grantham, pleaded guilty to one count under the Fraud Act for evasion of paying excise duty, and was sentenced to a 24 month Community Order with 24 months of supervision.

Mr Embling, age 48, also of Welland Court, Grantham, pleaded guilty to two counts under the Trademarks Act in relation to counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco, and two counts under the Fraud Act for failure to pay excise duty. Mr Embling also pleaded guilty to possessing unsafe cigarettes, contrary to the Consumer Protection Act 1987. He was sentenced to nine weeks custody on each of the four counts to run consecutively. This resulted in 36 weeks custody suspended for two years.

Ian Newell, business and public protection manager said: “This couple were selling large quantities of illegal cigarettes and tobacco, both of which can be extremely hazardous to people’s health.

“People who bought these products have no way of knowing what’s in the tobacco and the cigarettes are much more likely to start a fire as they don’t self-extinguish.

“I’d like to thank the public for bringing traders of illegal tobacco to our attention, and encourage them to continue doing so.

“If you do suspect anyone of selling cheap, illegal cigarettes, please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”