A shop owner who was secretly selling illegal tobacco from a van parked outside has been busted by Trading Standards.

Surjan Sethi, 45, has been fined £3,509 after Trading Standards officers visited High Wycombe Food and Wine in Desborough Road.

They went there twice in December 2019 and searched the van that was parked outside the shop - where they found 194 packets of cigarettes and 76 pouches of rolling tobacco.

They were all illegal, either by being counterfeit, incorrectly labelled or not licensed to be sold in the UK.

Mr Sethi told officers an unknown person had entered the shop and gave him the tobacco so he could check the authenticity of them.

If they were genuine, he would sell them and pay the anonymous seller, and if they weren't, he was going to give them all back.

Mr Sethi, from Uxbridge, pleaded guilty to eight counts of selling illegal tobacco and was sentenced on February 17 at Wycombe Magistrates' Court.

The magistrates commented that there was a degree of planning as he was selling them from the back of his van and not on the shop premises.

Mr Sethi was reluctant to give over the van keys to officers when they first requested them, which they said shows non-cooperation and an attempt by him to conceal the evidence.

There was also an element of financial gain and a health risk to anyone that would buy these illegal products.

Fred Wilson, Buckinghamshire Council’s cabinet member for regulatory services said: “Not having correctly labelled items may seem minor but it means customers don’t know what they are getting, and it could present a health risk.

“Also selling illegal tobacco is damaging to other local businesses, who put the law and the safety of customers and residents first.

“We want to do all we can to support these legitimate businesses so if you know of illegal tobacco being sold please call 0800 555 111”