A Spalding off-licence believed to have stocked smuggled alcohol will have its premises licence reviewed tomorrow (Wednesday).
Global Foods in Winsover Road is before a licensing committee after police discovered 29 bottles of booze behind the counter with no duty paid on them.
Lincolnshire Chief Constable Neil Rhodes (pictured) has applied for a review of the licence after the find on July 22 and the matter will now be heard by a South Holland District Council licencing panel.
In making the application, police are citing prevention of crime and disorder and public safety. They have “serious concerns over the management of the premises and the lack of promotion of licensing objectives”.
A report before the panel says the licence holder and designated premises supervisor is Delon Kuriakose, who has held the licence since December 2013, although he was not present when the illegal booze was seized.
The case dates back to June 19 when police alcohol licensing officers carrying out a routine inspection found there was no premise licence on display or available.
There was also no CCTV, which is a licence requirement, and no log book to record times when sales have been refused because of the age of the customer. Officers issued an action plan for these to be corrected.
When they returned on July 22 the licence was on display but the log book issue had not been addressed. CCTV was now present but they could not confirm whether the lone female worker could operate it as she spoke no English.
Further checks revealed the non-duty alcohol on display for sale behind the main store counter. Believing them to be smuggled, officers seized them.
Customs officials later confirmed they believe the goods likely to be smuggled.
A Customs officer’s statement reads: “I believe the excise duty has not been paid and that these bottles are likely to have been smuggled into the country. The bottles will have been obtained on the black market.”
While officers were still on the premises, a Marius Legavicius arrived and said he had taken over the business in April. He said the illegal booze was already in the shop when he took over and could produce no invoices for them.
On September 4 a council licensing officer made a further inspection and was also met by Mr Legavicius.
The licence summary was again not on display or available, staff didn’t know how to download CCTV images and the refusal register only contained four entries, from July 3 to July 5.
In applying for the review, a police statement says: “Allowing these premises to continue to operate with the benefits of a premises licence will merely serve to perpetuate the criminal activity evident from the police evidence, thereby undermining the licensing objectives for the prevention of crime and disorder and public safety.”
The three man panel will have six options open to them. They can:
lChange the conditions of the licence;
lExclude a licensable activity from the scope of the licence;
lRemove the designated premises supervisor;
lSuspend the licence for a period of up to three months;
lRevoke the licence;
lLeave the licence as it is.
The premise licence allows for the sale of alcohol from 8am until 11pm every day. The shop opens at 6am and also sells food and general goods.