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Hotel worker busted for selling cigarettes online

CourtsBy Sunday World
Man was caught after custom officers responded to an ad he placed online
Man was caught after custom officers responded to an ad he placed online

A HOTEL worker, who tried to boost his income by illegally selling cigarettes online, has been fined €2,500 by Judge John O'Neill at Dublin District Court.

Piotr Tokarski, 29, with an address at O'Casey Hall, Collegewood, Castleknock, Dublin, was caught after custom officers responded to an ad he placed online.

He was spared a maximum €5,000 fine and a 12-month sentence after he pleaded guilty today to a charge under the Finance Act for having 1,000 cigarettes for sale at the car park outside the McDonald's restaurant in the Blanchardstown Shopping Centre on October 23, 2014.

Prosecution solicitor Mary Kiely told Judge O'Neill that Tokarski placed an add online with a contact number. When he met customs officers he told them he intended to sell the cigarettes at a price €50 for 200 and “he did not think it was a big deal”.

The court heard he had no prior criminal convictions and has become an Irish citizen since coming here from Poland 11 years ago.

Pleading for leniency his counsel asked the court to note that he had been trying to supplement his meagre income. He did not know it was a criminal offence, the defence barrister added.

Judge O'Neill noted he pleaded guilty at an early stage and his previous clean record. He said he was using his discretion and would not impose the maximum fine.

Tokarski was convicted and ordered to pay a €2,500 fine within six months or he would be jailed for 14 days in default.