Jail sentence thanks to sniffer dog Yoyo

Tobacco Detection Dog "Yoyo"

An Eastbourne illegal tobacco seller has been given a custodial sentence after being caught hiding illegal tobacco by specialist detection dog Yoyo.

Nezar Shaban Hadi was convicted at Hove Crown Court following an investigation into his store, Little Convenience, by a specialist tobacco search dog and officers from East Sussex Trading Standards Service. 

The 38-year-old from Grove Road in Eastbourne was found guilty of two counts of breaching the Trade Marks Act and five counts of supplying tobacco in non-standardised packaging.

Hadi was sentenced to one month’s immediate custody to run concurrently for each breach of the Trade Marks Act and one week’s custody, to run concurrently, for each of the remaining five counts.

Officers visited the store on July 2, 2019 with a specially trained tobacco detection dog named Yoyo. Although no tobacco was found, detection dog Yoyo gave an indication around an empty toolbox found in a storage area.

Following a second inspection less than a week later, hand rolling tobacco and cigarettes were found inside the toolbox and more tobacco products were found in a cardboard box behind it, thanks to tobacco detection dog Yoyo.

Trading Standards revisited the store in August and found two pouches of illegal hand rolling tobacco. In September, following a further inspection, a quantity of illegal cigarettes was discovered hidden in a hole in the wall behind the till.

Hadi did not attend his trial and was convicted and sentenced in his absence. There is an outstanding warrant for his arrest.

Sentencing Hadi to one month’s immediate custody, Recorder Brock said: “The jury unanimously convicted him of seven counts.

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