Swindon Police have revealed a man from Reading has appeared in court charged with selling counterfeit tobacco products.
Owen McDonagh, 21, of no fixed address in Reading, appeared at Swindon Magistrates Court on Saturday (21 January) following his arrest on Friday (20 January) in Regent Street, Swindon.
McDonagh was searched by officers who also searched a nearby vehicle. A large quantity of counterfeit tobacco and Apple Airpods were located – a total of 136 50g pouches of tobacco were seized with an estimated value of approximately £4,000.
McDonagh was arrested and charged with offering/exposing for sale goods bearing a false trade mark under the Trade Marks Act 1994.
He pleaded guilty and was fined £120, ordered to pay a £48 victim surcharge and £85 costs. The court also ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the tobacco.
PC Paul Bezzant said: “McDonagh was stopped on Regent Street and officers were quickly able to establish the tobacco products that he was selling on the street were counterfeit.
“Selling counterfeit goods is an offence under the Trade Marks Act. Having worked alongside Swindon Trading Standards to tackle counterfeit goods, we know that these types of products contain a mixture of lethal substances and are often well in excess of the toxins found in ordinary tobacco products.
“In addition to the health risks to the local community this illicit trade also undermines the local business community that are selling legitimate products. The seized goods will now be destroyed.
“If you knowingly buy counterfeit goods, you are helping the offender to break the law and the money spent could also end up funding organised crime. If you purchase an item you believe to be genuine but now believe to be counterfeit you can contact your local Swindon Trading Standards office for advice.”