Crocodile tears: Storeowners claim entrapment over cigarette sales to minors sting…

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“TRICKERY CLAIMS: Pravin Ranchhod, of Ava Foodmarket in Petone, has accused health authorities of entrapment after his store was caught selling cigarettes to a 16-year-old.

Health inspectors say they will continue to target tobacco retailers illegally selling to minors, despite cries of entrapment from those caught in the latest sting.

A record number of retailers were nabbed across the Wellington region last month, with Regional Public Health officials calling the result “incredibly disappointing”.

A list of the 20 stores caught – issued under the Official Information Act – includes Ava Foodmarket in Petone, which has been caught selling restricted products to minors four times.

But many retailers who spoke to The Dominion Post blamed trickery for the illegal sales, saying the teenagers used in the sting “looked 30″, and had been dressed up to look older than they were. Some denied selling to the teenagers at all.”

Crocodile tears! The law is the law and these shopkeepers should cease selling cigarettes to children. I have absolutely no sympathy for them.


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