A Peterborough convenience store has had its licence removed after thousands of illegal cigarettes were discovered.
Cambridgeshire police found 16,600 illicit cigarettes and 4.25kg of illicit hand-rolled tobacco during two searches of International Shop in Fitzwilliam Street.
Searches were carried out as part of a police investigation on October 13 and 21 this year.
On the first occasion, illegal goods were found within a tiled passageway between the shop and the store room, and on the second, a black bin bag was found on a shelf under the till which contained numerous items of foreign-labelled cigarettes and hand-rolling tobacco.
The decision to revoke the store’s licence was made on Friday (December 18) by Peterborough City Council’s Licensing Act 2003 Sub-Committee.
Karen Woods from Peterborough Trading Standards said: “The committee’s decision sends out a clear message about the consequences that retailers will face if caught selling or supplying illegal tobacco.
“Shop owners who are permitted to sell alcohol are expected to uphold a licensing condition to prevent crime and disorder and we will take decisive action against any that ignore this.
“This illegal trade has a devastating impact on legitimate retailers who have to compete with black market traders.
“We are working with our partners, including Cambridgeshire police, to continue to clamp down on this illicit market and protect consumers.”
The store’s premises license allowed the sale of alcohol between 9.30am to 10pm, Monday to Sunday, with the store open from 8am to 10.30pm on the same days.
International Shop has 21 days to appeal the decision.