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Gloucestershire Business News

40-year-old denies he was the businessman selling fake goods

A 40-year-old man has been sent for crown court trial charged with selling fake cigarettes and tobacco products from a shop in Gloucestershire.

Sarhang Ibrahim Ahmad, 40, who appeared at Cheltenham Magistrates Court yesterday (Mon), faces 10 charges brought by Gloucestershire Trading Standards relating to cigarettes and rolling tobacco sold from the Quick Stop shop in Lydney during 2016.

The prosecution say he was the proprietor and leaseholder of the shop in Forest Parade, something Mr Ahmad denies.

The charges concern counterfeit packets of Mayfair cigarettes and rolling tobacco not carrying the statutory health warning as well as cigarettes with incorrect package colouring.

The alleged offences were committed on various dates between April and July, 2016.

Ahmad, of Lymm Walk, Cheadle, near Stockport, denies all the charges.

Defending lawyer Nick Cooper said: "My client says that he is not the shopkeeper and did not sign the lease for the shop.

"He says that someone else presented his passport to the landlord and signed the lease.

"He is from Iraq and says that he was not trading from the shop at the time of the offences - he was in fact back in his home country."

District Judge Joti Bopa-Rai rejected Mr Cooper's plea for the case to be committed to Gloucester Crown Court for trial. But the defendant then exercised his right to elect crown court trial.

The judge remanded him on conditional bail until September 19, when he will make his first appearance at Gloucester Crown Court.

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