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Police and Crime

Trading Standards plea for residents to report sales of illegal tobacco

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Residents across Wales who think someone is selling illegal tobacco can now report it anonymously, thanks to a new campaign.

Trading Standards Wales has joined forces with the charity Crimestoppers to provide a service, which enables members of the public to anonymously provide valuable information to help keep communities safe and healthy.

It is one of five issues that Trading Standards Wales and Crimestoppers are working together on, to encourage members of the public to provide information on concerns they might have, 100% anonymously. 

They are also looking for information anyone may have about doorstep crime, sale of age-restricted products, counterfeit goods and rogue trading.

Helen Picton, Chair of Trading Standards Wales, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Crimestoppers and giving members of the public a way to report these crimes anonymously.

“Illegal tobacco is causing harm to communities across Wales, and the sale of it supports organised crime and keeps money away from vital services. It also encourages smokers to continue smoking and encourages children to try smoking.

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“If you think someone is selling illegal tobacco, you can help stop the harm it’s causing by reporting it to Crimestoppers. Your information can help keep communities across Wales safe and healthy.”

If you think that someone is selling illegal tobacco call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit http://crimestoppers-uk.org and tell them what you know.

(Lead image: Basil MK / Pexels.com)


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Dyfed Powys Police

Four men fined £6,000 for ‘barbaric’ illegal foul hook fishing

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Four men caught using a barbaric and illegal fishing method by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) enforcement officers during patrols of the River Loughor, near Llanelli, have been fined a total of £6,000.

They each appeared before Llanelli Magistrates Court on 16 and 17 June and pleaded guilty to the offence of foul hooking – also known as snatching – which is prohibited under Section 1 of the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Act 1975.

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They were fined a total of £6,000 and ordered to pay £10,300 to NRW for investigation costs.

The men were caught by NRW fisheries enforcement officers who were undertaking riverbank patrols of the River Loughor in summer 2021, working to address and prevent the use of foul hook fishing.

Each fish caught using the foul hooking method had been snagged on its tail, back or flank. All fishing equipment and illegally caught fish were seized by NRW and later confiscated by the court.

Alun Thomas, Senior Fisheries Enforcement Officer for NRW, said: “Foul hook fishing is barbaric, unethical and illegal. This method of fishing is not only indiscriminate on what species or size fish that are killed, but also inflicts untold damage to unseen numbers of fish which are likely to die of their injuries soon after. This is often made worse by using deliberately tampered fishing lures.

“NRW’s Fisheries Enforcement Officers and police take these incidents seriously, as do the courts. Hopefully, the small minority of anglers considering using illegal fishing methods will take heed of the heavy fines issued by the courts.”

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Romuald Krzysztof Biernacki of Dwyfor, Llanelli, was caught using the foul hooking method on 4 July 2021. He had illegally caught four mullets and six flounder fish.

Biernacki was fined £1,500 and made to pay part of NRW’s investigation costs of £2,500.

Hung Van Tran, travelled from his Gibson Road home in Handsworth, Birmingham, to fish on river Loughor on 25 August 2021. NRW fisheries enforcement officers discovered he had illegally caught four mullet fish using the foul hook method.

Hung Van Tran was fined £1,500 and ordered to pay part of NRW’s investigation costs of £1,800.

Duc Duy Tran of Brithweynydd, Tonypandy, and Tan Van Tran of Pentrebane Street, Caerphilly, were caught during another river patrol carried out by NRW fisheries enforcement officers accompanied by Dyfed-Powys Police’s Wildlife Crime Officer on 6 September 2021.

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Duc Duy Tran had illegally caught 14 mullet fish and was fined £1,500. He must also pay £3,000 to NRW for investigation costs.

Tan Van Tran had illegally caught four mullet fish. He was fined £1,500, plus £3,000 to NRW for investigation costs.

Alun Thomas added: “We would like to thank Dyfed-Powys Police, the local community and law-abiding anglers in the area for their continued support in reporting these illegal fishing activities. I urge them to continue to report such activity and we will investigate.

“We would encourage anyone going fishing to familiarise themselves with the rules and regulations before going.”

(Lead image: Natural Resources Wales)

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Ammanford

Man who filmed rape of Ammanford woman on victim’s phone jailed for 10 years

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A man who filmed himself raping a woman on his victim’s phone has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Cameron Hassan, aged 31, of no fixed abode, attacked the woman, raping her as she slept in Ammanford on 21 August 2021.

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Hassan, who was midway through his trial at Swansea Crown Court after denying any wrongdoing, changed his plea to guilty after the jury was shown the video of the attack.

He was back before Swansea Crown Court today and was sentenced to 10 years in prison .

Senior Investigating Officer DI Melanie Havard said the victim had shown great strength and determination throughout the investigation and trial.

“I must commend her tremendous courage in coming forward and the tenacity shown throughout the investigation,” she said.

“We appreciate this is not easy for anyone to do but the victim has expressed her gratitude to the officer in the case for her support and empathy throughout this process.

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“We hope this case demonstrates that Dyfed-Powys Police acts on serious allegations such as rape and sexual assault with officers working tirelessly to secure justice for victims.

“If you are suffering because of similar abuse, please contact the police, or if you would rather speak to someone in confidence, New Pathways are an independent charity that will support you through every step of the investigation.”

New Pathways can be contacted at 01685 379 310 or email enquiries@newpathways.org.uk

You can report it to Dyfed-Powys Police online, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.police.uk, or by calling 101.

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South Wales Police

Twelve men arrested in cannabis raids in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot

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A dozen men were arrested following a series of pre-planned raids at addresses in Neath and Swansea on Wednesday (15 June) in a police operation aimed at dismantling an organised crime group involved in the production and supply of cannabis in south Wales.

Police officers from Tarian the Regional Organised Crime Unit for southern Wales, supported by officers from South Wales Police executed a number of warrants at properties across Swansea and Neath Port Talbot.

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The men were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to produce cannabis.

Detective Inspector Gareth Grant from Tarian said: “This was a jointly co-ordinated approach to tackling serious and organised crime in the region between Tarian Regional Organised Crime Unit with support from our partners in South Wales Police.

“Tarian ROCU focusses its assets on the most serious organised crime that occurs both across the southern Wales region and nationally.

“The safeguarding of our communities will always be our priority. Officers have worked tirelessly to ensure this investigation has reached this stage and as a result these individuals have been charged with large scale drug offences.

“The success of this investigation demonstrates that we will relentlessly pursue those involved in large scale criminality to ensure effective justice is sought against such individuals and that they are brought to justice.”

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All 12 men were all taken to Queens Road police station, Bridgend, where they were questioned.

A substantial amount of evidence was recovered and all 12 will appear before Cardiff Magistrates Court on Friday June 17th charged with conspiracy to produce class B drugs – cannabis.

They are:

  • Aurel Gjoshi, 27, from Godre’r Graig, Neath.
  • Mario Vishi, 37, from Sandfields, Port Talbot.
  • Christopher Mace, 40, from Swansea.
  • Deomald Sallufi, 27, from Swansea.
  • Cornel Macoviciuc, 32, from Swansea.
  • Vilson Tufa, 30, from Swansea.
  • Ardjan Sherifi, 33, from Swansea.
  • Admjerim Balla, 23, from Swansea.
  • Florian Balla , 28, from Pontardawe.
  • Zorba Ardit, 25, From Swansea.
  • Edi Toska, 27, from Swansea.
  • Sadik Selemi, 27, from Newport.
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