*Stock image used.

A shop owner from Eastbourne has been given a 12-month community order after Trading Standards found illegal cigarettes and tobacco at his store.

Salar Abdolla, 40, was caught when officers inspected his shop, Zagros Fresh Food Market, in Seaside Road.

The dogs found the illegal products concealed in a compartment in a wall at the front of the shop and in a cupboard at the back.

They included 136 packs of counterfeit Mayfair cigarettes, and 323 packs of various brands of cigarettes and tobacco that did not bear the required health warning.

Councillor Bill Bentley, East Sussex County Council lead member for communities and safety, said:

“Selling cheap, illegal tobacco products only makes them more attractive to children and people trying to quit the habit, putting people’s health at risk.

“There is no excuse for this unscrupulous trade, which undermines honest shopkeepers and often puts money into the pockets of crime gangs.

“This is another excellent result for our Trading Standards teams, who work tirelessly to disrupt this criminal enterprise and bring offenders to justice.”

Abdolla, of Tanbridge Road in the town, admitted three charges of possessing counterfeit cigarettes and an additional ten charges of possessing tobacco products without the required health warning.

As part of his order, he must complete 120 hours of unpaid work.

Anyone who is aware of the sale of illegal tobacco can report it anonymously online here, or call 0300 999 6 999.