A Doncaster shopkeeper has lost his licence to sell alcohol after his store was caught selling illegal cigarettes.
Doncaster Council’s licensing committee revoked the alcohol licence for the Junction Stop store, on Broxholme Lane, near Doncaster town centre, owned by Mustafa Halo Kaled, after an investigation by trading standards officers.
Council officers were able to buy illegal and smuggled tobacco from the premises on three separate occasions over an eight month period, between October 2016 and June 2017
The council licensing hearing late last year was told the test purchasers asked for 'cheap cigarettes', and were given packets of 20, carrying health warnings in Polish. Twice they were charged £5.50. Once they were charged £5. The minimum tax on British cigarettes was £5.37 in May 2017.
Further to this, the licensing committee heard that despite advice from officers after initial sales, Kaled had failed to prevent the illegal trade in cigarettes in his store and had failed to meet the licence objective of Prevention of Crime. At that point, the committee took the decision to revoke the premise’s licence.
Kaled then lodged an appeal against the decision. The appeal was heard by Doncaster magistrates on February 22 2018, where the magistrates dismissed his appeal. Doncaster Council were awarded £2,300 costs.
Coun Chris McGuinness, Council cabinet member for communities, said: “We will not tolerate businesses in Doncaster selling products which are illegal and can seriously harm someone’s health. It is pleasing to see that the court has upheld our decision which should serve as a warning to all licence holders of alcohol premises that they need to keep within the law or they will lose their licence.”
Coun Linda Curran, vice-chairman of the licensing committee, added: “We are on the side of businesses that operate within the law and the licensing authority will continue to clamp down on any premise that they find is operating illegally. All businesses in Doncaster should be able to compete on a level playing field and the licensing authority will seek out those who flout the conditions of the licence they hold.”
Anyone with information about illegal tobacco sales should call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 040 506.