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Man admits involvement in one of the largest hauls of illegal tobacco seized in Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 12:37 15 February 2019 | UPDATED: 14:58 15 February 2019

The illegal tobacco seized by Norfolk Police and Norfolk County Council. Picture: Submitted by Norfolk County Council.

The illegal tobacco seized by Norfolk Police and Norfolk County Council. Picture: Submitted by Norfolk County Council.

Archant

A man was warned he faces jail after he admitted being involved in one of the largest hauls of illegal tobacco uncovered by the county’s trading standards team.

Ping He, 48, was arrested after Norfolk County Council’s trading standards officers, working with police, raided an address in Notykin Street, at Clover Hill, Bowthorpe, Norwich, on December 18, after members of the public reported suspicious activity at the property.

He was found on the premises and officers also discovered a manufacturing set-up with an estimated 750kg of tobacco, counterfeit plastic tobacco pouches and other equipment used in the production of illegal tobacco.

He appeared at Norwich Crown Court on Friday via video link from Norwich prison, and with the help of a Mandarin interpreter admitted five offences involving the unauthorised use of a trademark.

Jamie Sawyer, prosecuting, told the court that He had a previous conviction from 2011 at Birmingham Magistrates when he was jailed for 21 days for possession of goods with a fake trademark, which were for sale or hire, and possession of a video recording of unclassified work for the purpose of supply.

Jonathan Goodman appeared for He.

Judge Katharine Moore adjourned the case for sentence until March and told He that he would be brought to court for the sentencing hearing rather than appearing over the link.

She warned him: “The custody threshold is crossed and you should expect a custodial sentence.”

He was then remanded in custody.

After the raid, Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of Norfolk County Council’s communities committee, said: “This is a great result for the Norfolk County Council Trading Standards team.”

She said it would severely disrupt production of illegal tobacco in Norfolk and thanked the public for their help.

She said: ”I hope this raid will reinforce the message that we do not tolerate the sale of illegal tobacco in our county.”

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