Spalding off licence withdraws appeal over illicit alcohol and cigarettes

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News from the Peterborough Telegraph - peterboroughtoday.co.uk/news, @peterboroughtel on Twitter, Facebook.com/peterboroughtoday

A Spalding off licence which was caught selling counterfeit bottles of whisky and vodka as well as illicit cigarettes has withdrawn an appeal against a decision to revoke its premises licence.

Europe Store, based in Holbeach Road, had its licence revoked by South Holland District Council’s Licensing Committee back in August.

The decision was made after Police and Trading Standards officers visited the store on June 19 and discovered 79 bottles of smuggled alcohol and 1,420 illicit cigarettes.

The committee agreed that the store’s licence holder Alan Ahmad had ‘seriously breached’ the premises licence and in keeping with government legislation, gave him 21 days to appeal.

Mr Ahmad initially appealed the ruling but last week confirmed he had decided to withdraw from doing so. As a result, Mr Ahmad will pay the council’s costs in the matter, meaning district tax payers won’t be hit in the pocket.

Cllr Angela Harrison, chair of the Licensing Committee said: “This reinforces our message to traders as part of our new ‘Stamp it Out campaign’ to crackdown on illegal alcohol.

“For any traders breaking the law we will find you and deal with you. Don’t run the risk of losing your licence and going out of business.”

As part of ‘Stamp it Out’, officers from the Licensing Team are visiting licensed premises in the run up to Christmas.

Working alongside Lincolnshire Police and Trading Standards, the principal aim is to check for smuggled alcohol which is undercutting legitimate businesses and defrauding the government of funds for vital services.

They’re also checking the compliance of licence conditions and offering guidance to ensure that operators are working in a responsible and legally compliant manner.

Since the start of the operation, the majority of premises inspected have been operating responsibly.

As part of the campaign, we’re calling on the public to keep a look out for illegal drinks, cigarettes and operations in the district.

It’s easy to spot smuggled alcohol – if drinks are illegal they won’t have a small round Excise Duty stamp on the bottles, as shown.

Anyone who spots smuggled alcohol, cigarettes on sale, or inappropriate licensing conditions in South Holland can contact our Licensing Team on 01775 761161.