Tatry, West Street, Boston has had their Alcohol Premises Licence Suspended for two months by Boston District Council.
The Alcohol Licensing Team from Lincolnshire Police submitted paperwork for a Licence Review Hearing following the seizure of a large quantity of illegal cigarettes found hidden behind the counter at the store. Prior to the hearing the store had been sold and the new owner attended the hearing in an attempt to assure the committee that this activity had now ceased. He was unable to persuade them that he had sufficient knowledge of licensing legislation or displayed the ability to successfully promote the licensing objectives.
On Thursday 44d October 2018 a hearing was held in front of Boston District Council Licensing Sub-Committee. After hearing all the evidence they agreed with the police that the premises had been actively involved in the illegal sale of illicit cigarettes. They accepted that there was nothing to link the new owner to the illegal sales but expressed concerns with his ability to run the business. They believed this undermined the licensing objectives and the decision was taken to suspend the licence and remove the Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS).
There is a 21 day appeal process; if no appeal is submitted then the suspension comes into force.
The store was targeted by Lincolnshire Police and two test purchase operations were carried out, with plainclothes volunteers purchasing illegal cigarettes on both occasions. The store was then raided and officers discovered an electronic “Hide” behind the counter. Controlled by a key fob this store would hide the illicit cigarettes behind the small display of legal products for sale. Thousands of illegal cigarettes were seized
Sergeant Kim Enderby, Alcohol Licensing Manager for the County said, “This is the third discovery of an electronic “Hide” in Boston following our series of raids. Biedronka 77a, High Street, Boston, who had their licence revoked on 3rd October 2018, had a similar device and we also located a“Hide” earlier this week in an unlicensed shop in the town. The criminals involved in this activity are increasing; attempting more sophisticated methods to conceal their illegal activity. The cigarettes seized were a mixture of non-duty, counterfeit and illicit cigarettes. The counterfeit and illicit cigarettes fail health and safety regulations, do not self-extinguish and have in the past been found to contain rat droppings, sawdust or human excrement mixed in with the tobacco.
"Although the new owner was not directly linked to the criminal activity, he had employed the same individual as DPS. This male had worked there whilst the cigarettes were being sold and was not suitable to hold the role of DPS. Our activity has resulted in a large quantity of cigarettes being taken out of circulation and all links to the criminals involved being severed. It also sends a clear message that we expect all licensed premises to be run legally and owners must know their responsibilities within the Licensing Act.
"Lincolnshire Police will continue to actively target all licensed premises involved in this dangerous criminal activity. We have a number of similar Review Hearings taking places across the County following earlier raids. We are also busy planning our next operations and those involved in the sale of these illicit items can expect to be targeted. I would ask the public to report any suspicious activity of this type and help the Police to identify the criminals involved in selling illegal and dangerous items. We remain committed to the disruption, investigation and prosecution of all criminal activity being conducted on our Licensed Premises."
05 Oct 18 10:48 AM