TWO shops have been ordered to close following allegations they had been selling illegal tobacco.

Orders were secured to close two premises in Hartlepool. 

Teesside Magistrates granted the applications by Hartlepool Borough Council’s Trading Standards department.

RMT convenience store of 176 Raby Road was ordered to close for three months and the former Donatellos takeaway at 107 Raby Road was closed for two months after the court heard that both premises had sold counterfeit tobacco on a number of occasions.

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These closures follow the closure of the International Food Store in Murray Street for three months on December 15 last year, also for the sale of counterfeit tobacco.

Ian Harrison, the council's Trading Standards and Licensing manager, said: "The sale of counterfeit tobacco is a nuisance for people who live close by to these premises, takes legitimate trade away from law abiding retailers and increases the likelihood of young people taking up the habit.

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“I am pleased that the courts continue to recognise the seriousness of these crimes and we will not hesitate to ask the courts to take further action where it is needed.”

Anyone with information regarding the sale or supply of counterfeit products is encouraged to contact the Trading Standards Team on (01429) 523362.

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