A SHOPKEEEPER caught selling £10,000 worth of fake cigarettes could soon have his licence revoked.

Ali Ahmad, licence holder at International Market in Lowesmoor in Worcester, was caught selling counterfeit products during multiple stings by Trading Standards and West Mercia Police.

In total, almost 900 packs of fake cigarettes and more than six kilos of rolling tobacco with a value of £10,000 were seized from the city centre shop.

Worcester City Council’s licensing subcommittee meets in the Guildhall on June 28 to review Mr Ahmad’s licence.

Mr Ahmad was told to pay costs totalling £3,500 and ordered to complete 250 hours of unpaid work as part of a 12-month community order after pleading guilty to possessing and selling fake cigarettes and rolling tobacco at Worcester Magistrates Court in April.

READ MORE: Worcester garage owner fears new flats would bankrupt his business

READ MORE: Church hall could be demolished to make way for block of student flats

Worcestershire Regulatory Services (WRS), who has called for the licence to be revoked, said Mr Ahmad had been caught several times selling fake cigarettes since 2020 including to undercover officers.

Mr Ahmad blamed a “third party” for having fake cigarettes in the shop when interviewed in July 2020 but another sting a year later found the products were still being sold in the shop, including to another undercover officer, and more items were seized following a search in September 2021.

Worcester News:

WRS said a shop worker had also tried to hide the bin bag full of fake cigarettes during the surprise visit.

In a report due to be discussed by the licensing subcommittee next week, Mr Ahmad said he was now “reformed” and had learned his lesson.

READ MORE: Former Worcester go-karting venue to be converted back to warehouse

READ MORE: Farm barns near Worcester could be converted into homes under new plan

“I appreciate that I have failed in many ways with regards to the licensing objective “prevention of crime and disorder” and I have now reformed myself,” he said.

“My business is heavily [reliant] on the sale of alcohol with it providing a large income and I am very concerned that provoking my license will cause my business to cease trading as I will no longer be able to cover overheads.

“I can ensure you that I’ve learnt my lesson and I am paying back what I owe with means of a fine and community service.

Worcestershire Regulatory Services said Mr Ahmad showed “total disregard” for the licensing objectives and called for his licence to be revoked.