A NORTH Yorkshire retailer has been fined for so supplying illicit tobacco to customers.

Mardin Abdulla Kerim, of Castle Road, Scarborough, pleaded guilty to the offence at Scarborough Magistrates Court.

Officers of North Yorkshire County Council’s Trading Standards visited Castle Road Mini Market and bought cigarettes, which were found to be illegal.

A search of the premises uncovered a further 91 pouches of hand rolling tobacco and 305 packets of cigarettes, said a council spokesman.

Illicit tobacco is defined as either counterfeit, imported illegally or a genuine product smuggled into the UK without duty being paid.

Magistratest ordered Kerim to pay a fine and costs amounting to £981.95.

Dr Lincoln Sargeant, director of public health in North Yorkshire, said: "Smoking remains the single greatest cause of preventable early death in North Yorkshire. In addition to raising awareness about the harms of all forms of tobacco, we need to reduce the supply of illicit tobacco in our county. This is one of the main objectives of our tobacco control strategy and aspiration to promote a smoke free generation."