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Two Doncaster shops lose licences after being caught selling illegal cigarettes

Illicit cigarettes, similar to these, were found at both shops.
Illicit cigarettes, similar to these, were found at both shops.

Two Doncaster shops have lost their licences to sell alcohol after being caught selling illegal cigarettes.

The licences for the Europa Mini Market in Holmes Market, Wheatley and Polskie Smaki in Beckett Road have both been revoked following the clampdown by Doncaster Council's Trading Standards department.

The Europa licence, held by Rizga Ismail Aziz, was revoked by the council’s Licensing Committee in late January 2018.

Trading Standards had applied for a review of the licence after the premises were found to be associated with the sale of illicit cigarettes and staff at the shop had also sold illicit cigarettes to a Trading Standards operative.

The licence for Polskie Smaki, held by Mr Hoshmand Aminishokri, was revoked in early February 2018. In this case, the Trading Standards application for review of the licence was brought when counterfeit cigarettes were purchased from the premises by a Trading Standards operative.

Both licence holders appealed the Licensing Committee’s decisions.

But last week Doncaster Magistrates’ accepted the submissions of the council’s legal representative and dismissed both appeals on the grounds that no valid appeal had been made.

Costs of £360 were awarded in respect of each appeal.

Coun Chris McGuinness, Cabinet Member for Communities, Voluntary Sector and the Environment, said: “This serves as a further example that we take the health and safety of Doncaster residents extremely seriously, and that we will continue to work tirelessly to pursue those businesses that operate outside of the law.

“Counterfeit cigarettes are directly linked to a notable proportion of the 3,000 house fires that occur annually in this country. They pose a major risk as they are not generally compliant with the safety standards designed to ensure that cigarettes self-extinguish if left to burn”.

Coun Ken Keegan, Chair of the Licensing Committee, added: “We would like to see a Doncaster where our young people have the best opportunity to be healthy and stay healthy.

"Selling cheap illicit cigarettes has been shown to encourage children to smoke, which clearly jeopardizes our hopes for this healthy future. We will therefore continue to take a tough stance where a review involves this type of illegal activity and the licensing objectives have been undermined”.

Anyone with information about illegal tobacco sales should call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 040 506.