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Repeat Offender Fined For Underage Tobacco Sales

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Oct 29 NZPA - A Turangi store owner has received one of the biggest court-ordered fines after his fourth conviction for selling cigarettes to underage customers.

Sanjay Malaviya, owner of Sanjay's Selection, has been fined $750 on each of two counts, and has been banned from selling tobacco products for two months, after appearing in Taupo District Court.

The maximum fine for these offences is $2000 per offence, but the Health Ministry's national director of tobacco control, Dr Ashley Bloomfield, was comfortable with the punishment.

"This is Mr Malaviya's fourth conviction for selling to under 18s, so we're pleased he's at the upper end of the punishments that courts have dished out so far," he said.

"He is peddling an addictive and deadly product to underage people, putting his personal profits ahead of any concern for youngsters in his community."

Dr Bloomfield said the latest convictions resulted from a controlled purchase operation run by the local district health board.

One of the volunteers used was 12, "and looked it", he said.

Controlled operations were regularly carried out in areas where there were known problems with underage tobacco sales, a ministry spokesman said.

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