'Smuggled cigarettes' and 'man with no right to work in the UK' found at Normanton shop, West Yorkshire Police and Wakefield Council say

Counterfeit cigarettes have been unearthed at a shop in Normanton, police have said.

Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 3:33 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th May 2021, 3:34 pm

Officers claimed they, along with Trading Standards, found illicit tobacco products at Baryla Polish Shop, on Market Place in the town, following a search of the premises in March.

A man with no right to be employed in the UK was also "believed to be working in the shop" when officers visited, a statement by West Yorkshire Police's licensing department also said.

Baryla could now lose its licence to sell alcohol as a result of the allegations.

The shop is located on Market Place in Normanton

Its fate will be determined at a public hearing on May 26.

In papers submitted ahead of the hearing, PC Jonathan Kaye, from West Yorkshire Police, said that undercover officers carried out test purchases at the store and were sold "counterfeit and smuggled cigarette brands" on each occasion.

He added: "Following these incidents, officers from West Yorkshire Police and West Yorkshire Trading Standards have entered and searched the premises and located quantities of illicit Tobacco products.

"Also present inside and believed to be working in the shop was a male whose immigration status prevented him from being employed in any capacity."

The authorities have not specified how much illicit tobacco was found at the shop.

However, Wakefield Council enforcement officer Paul Dean, said that the licence holder, Muzafar Kamal Rahman, had "shown dishonesty with the illegal products found in the premises, sited just behind the counter in under a shelving unit".

In his submission ahead of the hearing, he wrote that Mr Rahman had failed to promote two of the four licensing objectives as required by law, which include preventing crime and disorder.

He added: "This is highlighted with the findings of illegal/counterfeit tobacco being made available for sale at the off licensed premises for discounted prices, along with a male found working in the shop with no right to work in the United Kingdom."

The decision on whether or not to revoke Baryla's alcohol licence will be made by a panel of three local councillors at the hearing.

Local Democracy Reporting Service