A newsagent was fined almost £6,000 after trading standards officers uncovered a haul of illegal tobacco products at two of his shops.

Diljeet Kapoor stored hundreds of packets of unmarked cigarettes and several kilos of tobacco in Wealdstone’s MG Superstore and Myra Supermarket.

Teams from Harrow and Brent Councils conducted a search operation with officers from HMRC and a specially trained sniffer dog.

They found Kapoor, who owns the business Rimi Food and Wine, had hidden the knock-off goods behind spices, packets of crisps and bottles of water.

A repeat offender – having been fined for similar offences in 2016 – he was ordered to pay £5,712 by Willesden Magistrates.

Simon Legg, head of service at Brent and Harrow trading standards, said it would continue to take action against those who “try and undercut the opposition and flout the rules for their own greed”.

He added there is “no hiding” from officials and trained sniffer dogs will continue to be used to uncover any goods deceptively stockpiled.

Cllr Varsha Parmar, responsible for the environment at Harrow Council, noted the seriousness of trying to flog dodgy tobacco, which can have even greater consequences on residents’ health.

She said: “Kapoor once again tried to beat the law, but it again caught up with him.

“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.”