A retailer who was caught selling illicit tobacco and alcohol in his store on three separate occasions, and gave a false name in a bid to avoid arrest, has been jailed for two years.

Sadde Jalal Jarbar gave the name ‘Muhammed Ali’ to officers who caught him selling smuggled cigarettes and alcohol at his Peterborough convenience store in the third raid earlier this year.

He later admitted his true identity after his fingerprints were taken.

Officers had found large quantities of illicit cigarettes and alcohol hidden under the shop counter, in outbuildings and storerooms, and in Jarbar’s home and car. The duty lost is estimated as £45,000. The last raid uncovered more than 25,000 illicit cigarettes and eight kilos of hand-rolling tobacco.

He pleaded guilty to four offences of harbouring goods with intent to defraud duty, and was sentenced by Ipswich Crown Court yesterday.

HM Revenue & Customs spokesman Bob Gaiger said: “This local shopkeeper was caught on three occasions offering illicit cigarettes and alcohol for sale to unsuspecting customers. It is just not acceptable in this day and age to use criminal means to gain an advantage over other honest retailers.”