A newsagent was fined more than £3,000 for stocking illegal cigarettes and chewing tobacco.

Kenton Superstore Ltd, in Kenton Road, Harrow, had to pay a £1,500 fine – alongside more than £1,500 in legal costs – following an investigation by Brent and Harrow Trading Standards.

Council officers, working with a specially trained sniffer dog, found the illicit goods hidden behind boxes of juice in the shop’s storeroom.

The company pleaded guilty to possessing more than 700 packets of illegal cigarettes and more than 22kg of chewing tobacco.

The products did not have the correct health warnings and labelling required by UK law.

Cllr Tom Miller, responsible for community safety at Brent Council, said: “Health warnings are there for a reason and illegal tobacco puts people at even greater risk, as well as hurting hardworking, legitimate traders. I hope this makes other businesses sit up and think before putting profits before their customer’s safety.”

The bust was the latest in a month-long operation by trading standards teams in Harrow and Brent to uncover dodgy cigarettes being sold in the region.

Cllr Varsha Parmar, responsible for the environment at Harrow Council, noted the seriousness of these crimes, which can have dire consequences for residents’ health.

She said: “These tobacco products are illegal for a reason – no one knows what is inside them or the damage they can do.

“The law is there to protect people and those who play with fire will get burned.”

Harrow and Brent Councils reminded people that they can contact trading standards on 03454 040506 if they suspect someone is selling illegal goods.