Newly released photos show a hidey hole that was used by a Redcar store to conceal knock-off cigarettes.

Earlier this week Ocean Continental Food Store Limited, in Queen Street, Redcar, was handed a closure order by Teesside magistrates after they heard that warnings of enforcement action over illegal activity had been ignored.

The Northern Echo: A Trading Standards notice at the closed down premises in Queen Street, RedcarA Trading Standards notice at the closed down premises in Queen Street, Redcar (Image: REDCAR AND CLEVELAND COUNCIL)

Council officials visited the premises on September 21 and found 2,800 counterfeit cigarettes and 3.25kg of illegal hand rolled tobacco that had been stashed behind an air vent.

Other items seized included ten toys which were said to be non-compliant with registered trademarks and a quantity of shisha tobacco product.

Photos released by Redcar and Cleveland Council, which prosecuted the case, showed some of the counterfeit goods squirrelled away in a gap in a wall housing an air vent.


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The council’s cabinet member for health, housing and welfare, Councillor Ursula Earl said: “Residents and visitors and our hardworking, legitimate retailers should be assured that the council’s highly dedicated officers will continue to work with police and other partners to prevent unsafe and illegal goods from being sold anywhere in our borough.”

Magistrates said the closure order was necessary and intended to prevent a recurrence of any criminal behaviour.

The court heard there had been reports of underage tobacco sales at the store with retailer Khader Mostapha being ordered to pay £910 in costs arising from the case.