11:50 Wednesday 22 January 2014

Illegal cigarettes raid store could lose licence

Written byRICH GUTTRIDGE

A BURTON store which was found to be selling counterfeit cigarettes following a raid could now have its licence revoked.

The Queens Supermarket, in Borough Road, was one of three stores at the centre of a trading standards and police sting in September which saw ten thousand illegal cigarettes seized.

Licensing bosses in Burton will now determine the future of the store, with options available to them including removing its licence to sell cigarettes.

The application to review the store’s licence was brought by trading standards following the raids which unearthed counterfeit and non-UK duty paid cigarettes stashed in a steel back door.

It said the owner had shown disregard for the law.

The raid was triggered after police were tipped off about sales of banned cigarettes on the premises, opposite Burton Town Hall.

Even after the visit, the store continued to sell illegal products, with an undercover trading standards officer sold a packet of Malboro Gold only a month later.

A trading standards report said: “The management history of this premise and that of the premise licence holder indicates a general and continued disregard of the law which raises questions as to whether the business is managed in accordance with the promotion of the licensing objectives.

“The licensing authority has a duty to ensure that steps are taken to promote the licence objectives in the interests of the wider community and not those of the individual licence holder.”

East Staffordshire Borough Council’s licensing committee is due to make a decision of February 5.

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