Counterfeit cigarettes found at another Normanton off-licence, West Yorkshire Police say

Illicit tobacco has been found at yet another store in the Wakefield district, the authorities say.

Thursday, 17th June 2021, 5:31 pm

Emily Market in Normanton is the latest in a string of local shops to be linked by police to the selling of counterfeit cigarettes.

Shops in Pontefract, Castleford and Normanton have all surrendered their premises licences this year after being probed for flogging tax-free cigarettes imported illegally from abroad.

Both police and Wakefield Council have said they found an unspecified quantity of counterfeit tobacco at Emily Market after a search of the premises on March 23 this year.

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Emily Market, on High Street in Normanton.

The store's licence holder, Tudor Strisca, is now expected to attend a licensing hearing set for July 2.

A panel of councillors will decide whether or not the shop, on High Street in the town, can continue to sell alcohol following the alleged findings.

In papers released ahead of the hearing, PC Toby Warden, from West Yorkshire Police, said: "The premises was visited on a day of action in partnership with officers from West Yorkshire Police and West Yorkshire Trading Standards who have entered and searched the premises locating a quantity of illicit/counterfeit cigerettes."

PC Warden also said that a check on the shop's compliance with other rules "identified numerous issues".

Both the police and Wakefield Council's enforcement officers have asked the local authority to consider banning Emily Market from selling booze.

Paul Dean, from Wakefield Council, said that the tobacco products had been made available to the public at a "discount" price.

He said: "Mr Tudor Strisca is responsible not only for the requirement to operate lawfully under the licensing act, but also has to take full responsibility for the items sold and found in his shop which he has clear control of.

"There is no question that illegal cigarettes/tobacco sales have taken place from this shop."

Local Democracy Reporting Service