A Spalding off licence which was actively involved in the illegal sale of smuggled foreign cigarettes had its premises licence revoked this afternoon, meaning it will no longer be able to sell alcohol.
A panel of the South Holland District Council licensing authority made the decision after a review of the licence at Winsover Off Licence in Winsover Road.
They have been found to contain sawdust, asbestos, arsenic and human excrementSergeant Kim Enderby from the alcohol licensing team
The review came about after Lincolnshire Police submitted paperwork following a raid on December 2, carried out in partnership with Trading Standards and acting on intelligence supplied from members of the community.
Premises licence holder Karwan Ahmad did not dispute that criminal activity had taken place but claimed he was not involved with running the shop when it was raided by police and Trading Standards on December 2, saying he took over a few weeks later.
But staff confirmed he was already in charge when the shop was raided. Police had also had a telephone conversation with him on that date in which he indicated he had taken over the shop.
Furthermore, paperwork found in the shop clearly demonstrated Mr Ahmad was involved in the running of it.
A link was established between Winsover Off-Licence and the Baltic store, where a further quantity of concealed cigarettes was seized on December 2.
In making its decision, the committee said: “It would be highly improbable that Mr Ahmad could take over one store in October 2015 and know nothing about what was occurring in the store by December 2.
“There are no conditions that could be imposed that would adequately address the fears that these premises are undermining the licensing objective of ‘prevention of crime and disorder’.”
Sergeant Kim Enderby from the alcohol licensing team said: “Unacceptable criminal activity was centred on this store. The cigarettes they were selling were smuggled into the country and previous tests on them have found they contain ingredients dangerous to your health.
“They have been found to contain sawdust, asbestos, arsenic and human excrement. We will continue to take positive action against anyone selling products of this type.
“I would again take this opportunity to encourage members of the public who are aware of activity of this type to let us know. We remain committed to the disruption, investigation and prosecution of all criminal behaviour being conducted on our licensed premises.”
There is a 21 day appeal process after which, if no appeal is submitted, the revocation comes into action.