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Offender made to pay for underage cigarette sales

Media release

28 October 2008

Recidivist offender made to pay for underage cigarette sales

The owner of the Turangi convenience store Sanjay’s Selection has received one of the biggest court-ordered fines dished out for selling tobacco to people under the age of 18.

Sanjay Malaviya has been fined $750 on each of two counts, plus court costs, and he is not allowed to sell tobacco products for two months, effective immediately.

The maximum fine for these offences is $2000 per offence, but the Ministry of Health’s National Director of Tobacco Control, Dr Ashley Bloomfield is 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 is peddling an addictive and deadly product to underage people, putting his personal profits ahead of any concern for youngsters in his community. And based on the complaints to the Police and the District Health Board I expect many in the community will be pleased with Mr Malaviya’s latest convictions.”

Dr Bloomfield says, “One of the volunteers involved in this controlled purchase operation was only 12 years old, and looked it. The Director-General of Health recently warned retailers who flout these laws that when we catch you we will prosecute. I say again and again if necessary, because our communities do not value this behaviour and our young people deserve better."


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