Wisbech convenience store owner who is pursuing premises licence implicated in sale of illicit tobacco

Illicit cigarettes were seized at a raid in Wisbech in January.

Illicit cigarettes were seized at a raid in Wisbech in January. - Credit: Archant

Trading standards have urged the council to refuse a Wisbech convenience store’s application to sell alcohol because the applicant has been caught selling illicit tobacco at another store.

During a raid at applicant Dana Mohammed’s store in Northampton, trading standards officers discovered foreign labelled cigarette packets and hand rolling tobacco concealed in a refrigerator in a storeroom.

The premises licence application for Euro Star, of Falcon Road, to sell alcohol from 9am-10pm seven days a week, will go before Fenland District Council’s licencing committee on Tuesday.

The sale of illicit tobacco is a major problem in Wisbech - last month, more than 30,000 cigarettes and more than 2kgs of rolling tobacco were seized from three shops.

Andrew Fayers, lead officer, Cambridgeshire County Council Trading Standards, said: “The applicant is known to be involved in the supply of illicit tobacco and the home address stated for the applicant is a home address given by the owner of two premises where illicit tobacco has been found.

“A business which is prepared to be involved in the sale of illicit cigarettes is not going to be concerned about breaking the law and selling tobacco or alcohol to children.

“The refusal of granting of the licence will help the service prevent criminal activities within Wisbech.

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“This off licence is located in area where there is a plethora of off licences, and there is no need for anymore.”

In 2013/4, 184 incidents of alcohol related violence were recorded in Wisbech.

Euro Star is located 0.2 miles away from a county council run alcohol treatment service, which has worked with 316 people in the past year.

Kate Parker, of Cambridgeshire County Council public health, said: “This will increase the temptation of users of the service to consume alcohol who are already alcohol dependent and trying to receive help with their addiction,

“Concern is raised that if the applicant is associated with illicit tobacco sales that they may also disregard this objective in prevention of children from harm and target young people for alcohol sales as a cheap revenue option.”