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Walsall vape shops are in court for selling products to minors.

Trading standards inspectors conducted a sting operation after receiving a tip earlier this year, and the businesses were ultimately exposed.

Adz Vapes Ltd. of Stafford Street, represented by Mr. Mohammed Ali, the company director, was fined £2,000 after pleading guilty to supplying nicotine vape products to people under the age of 18. In addition, a victims’ surcharge of £190 and £821 in expenses were assessed against him.

Employee Hasan Ijaz made the unlawful sale, telling the police that it was his first week on the job at the time the test buy exercise took place. Although he admitted that he should have performed the requisite age-related checks, he claimed that he was alone when the business got busy and he became frazzled.

Ijaz stated that he has since completed full training during a hearing on December 7 at Dudley Magistrates Court. He was sentenced to a £120 fine, £300 in costs, and a £34 victims’ fee.

In the meantime, Paul Brennan entered a guilty plea in February to a related offence involving Bits & Bobs on Park Street.

Officers sent a 15-year-old inside the convenience store after receiving allegations that vapes were being supplied to children, and he was caught red-handed.

The volunteer was not asked his age or for identity before being sold a vaporizer. An officer saw the transaction and quickly went back to the shop to identify Brennan, 33, as the seller.

Brennan, of Bray Road, Sheldon, Birmingham, admitted to the court that he was an alcoholic who worked there for a meagre wage and had not been given any training about the sale of alcohol to minors. He was handed a 12-month conditional discharge and told to pay a victim surcharge of £22 and £300 in expenses.

Mike Bird, the head of Walsall Council, said: “These businesses and the people involved have paid dearly for being negligent and not asking for ID. I hope it serves as a reminder to always exercise caution when selling age-restricted goods so we can make sure kids aren’t getting their hands on them.

“Congratulations to the Trading Standards team and the volunteer participants for their dedication to ensuring that firms are held accountable.”

Ref: https://www.expressandstar.com/news/crime/2022/12/12/walsall-vape-shops-in-court-for-selling-goods-to-underage-customers/

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