Illegal cigarettes on sale in town shop

The Liudwal shop in Holbeach.
The Liudwal shop in Holbeach.
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A HOLBEACH shop has been caught selling illegal cigarettes and alcohol to underage teenagers.

Police raided Liudwal, in High Street, Holbeach, after receiving intelligence that smuggled cigarettes were on sale to customers.

During the raid a total of 720 foreign brand non-UK duty paid cigarettes were discovered.

Most of the cigarettes, in unopened packets of 20, were found in a carrier bag hanging from the counter.

The rest were in a cupboard under the counter.

One of the shop’s licensees admitted to officers under caution that she had bought the cigarettes, despite knowing it was illegal to sell them, because she had customers who came into the shop asking for them.

Just ten days later, acting on further intelligence, a test purchase was carried out which resulted in a 16-year-old being sold two cans of beer.

As a result of the two raids, Lincolnshire Police applied to South Holland District Council for a review of the shop’s premises licence by the Licensing Panel.

Members of the panel made their decision after taking into account evidence from police, Trading Standards and the licence holders.

The application by Lincolnshire Police stated: “We are of the view that the management of this premises is ineffective as it has been found selling goods for which duty has been evaded, therefore failing to promote the licensing objective of the prevention of crime.

“The designated premises supervisor is not meeting their responsibilities in relation to the licensing objectives for the protection of children from harm by allowing the sale of alcohol to a minor.”

After the hearing a decision notice issued by the panel stated: “It has been established that on occasions, cigarettes have been sold on which duty has not been paid and which have been brought into the country from abroad.

“HMRC officers have confirmed these should not have been for sale in this country due to tax avoidance.”

As a result members decided to revoke the shop’s licence to sell alcohol.

The licensees now have 21 days to appeal to Spalding Magistrates’ Court for the decision to be overturned.

If there is no appeal the licence will be revoked with effect from September 22.