Shop that sold fake tobacco from ‘elaborate’ remote-controlled hiding places to be reviewed

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A shop which sold counterfeit tobacco from “elaborate” remote-controlled hiding places is to undergo a licensing review this week.

New Market Aro on Featherstone’s Station Lane has been heavily criticised by West Yorkshire Trading Standards and police for its conduct in the past four years.

This includes officers finding secret stashes of illegal cigarettes and tobacco and age-related products being sold to children.

In May last year a hydraulic compartment was found within the wall above a door between the store room and toilet, which was opened using a remote-controlled fob. It lowered the top of the door frame down to reveal the fake products.

A letter from West Yorkshire trading Standards’ David Clutterbrook, reads: “The creation of these elaborate concealments demonstrates the business’ total disregard for the law.

“Trading Standards felt this business is determined to carry out illegal activity on its premises and does not have the inclination to prevent crime or disorder or protect children from harm. Therefore there are serious concerns regarding its ability to meet the licensing objectives.”

This is supported by the police who found multiple licensed breaches during a day of action in October last year.

A letter from the police said: “The findings of these investigations clearly demonstrate the premises licence should be reviewed.

Wakefield Council’s licensing sub-committee will discuss the matter tomorrow, February 2.