A Walthamstow man has been fined nearly £4,000 after being found guilty of supplying chewing tobacco.

Shir Ahmad Shinwari, 41, of Albert Road, was prosecuted by Waltham Forest Council’s Trading Standards Service for the possession for supply of the banned oral tobacco, Naswar.

On December 18 last year, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs contacted the borough’s trading standards team to advise that a quantity of Naswar had been found in the home of Mr Shinwari.

A total of 2,300 packets of the banned product were seized by trading standards officers who also found all the raw ingredients and equipment necessary to make the product on-site.

Naswar is made from fresh tobacco leaves, calcium oxide and wood ash.

It is believed to directly cause lung, stomach and mouth cancer besides causing bronchitis, kidney, heart and other diseases.

The supply of oral tobacco, or chewing tobacco, is banned under the Tobacco for Oral Use (Safety) Regulations 1992, made under the Consumer Protection Act 1987.

On December 4, Mr Shinwari pleaded guilty at Thames Magistrates' Court to the offence of possession for supply and was ordered to pay a fine of £750, prosecution costs totalling £3,021.80 and a £75 victim surcharge.

During the court hearing it was said that Mr Shinwari committed the offence due to his ignorance of the law.

However, in July 2012 Mr Shinwari had been advised by trading standards to cease producing the illegal product.

The court was further advised by his defence that Mr Shinwari had incurred production costs and made no profit.

In response to this the District Judge stated that the number of packets seized, the labels and the packaging all indicated a business with a view to making a profit.