Alverthorpe shop facing counterfeit tobacco claims from West Yorkshire Police

Another Wakefield store could lose its booze licence over police allegations it was selling counterfeit tobacco.

Monday, 8th November 2021, 2:58 pm
The authorities continue to lead a crackdown against illicit cigarettes.

Officers say they found a quantity of illicit cigarettes at Alverthorpe Mini Market, in the north-west of the city, after visiting the premises earlier this year.

It's claimed this followed a failed test purchase operation at the store, on Alverthorpe Road.

Both West Yorkshire Police and Wakefield Council have called for the shop to be stripped of its alcohol licence as punishment.

The shop's fate is likely to be determined at a licensing hearing next week.

A hearing scheduled for next Tuesday will determine what action, if any, the store faces.

A panel of three local councillors will have the final say over what happens.

In written submissions published ahead of the hearing, PC Toby Warden said: "On July 21 2021 police licensing officers attended the premises under Section 180 of the Licenshig Act 2003 in relation to the sale of smuggled goods, namely illicit/counterfeit cigarettes.

"At the time of the police attending, a seizure of an amount of illicit counterfeit cigarettes was made from within the premises under Section 19 (of the) Police and Criminal Evidence Act, along with the CCTV hard drive."

PC Warden said "this is not the first time" the premises had come to the attention of the authorities.

He added: "In October 2018 the premises were visited in relation to licensing breaches, following a failed test purchase in relation to conditions controlling the sales of certain high alcohol volume beers and ciders.

"In 2019 acting on intelligence, police, Licensing and Trading Standards conducted a further investigation In relation to sales of illicit/counterfeit tobacco and the suspicion of an illegal worker being employed at the premises."

Several off-licences across Wakefield have fallen foul of a crackdown on the sale counterfeit tobacco in recent years.

Last month, Lupset Convenience Store, on Dewsbury Road, lost its right to sell booze after police claimed it was effectively a "criminal enterprise".

Local Democracy Reporting Service