Police object to new licence for Peterborough shop after raid finds illicit cigarettes worth £1900

Around £1900 of duty is believed to have gone unpaid on the cigarettes.

By Ben Jones
Thursday, 4th August 2022, 11:21 am
Some of the illegal tobacco products seized by HMRC.
Some of the illegal tobacco products seized by HMRC.

Cambridgeshire Police have officially objected to a new licence application for a Euro Plus store in Dogsthorpe after Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) raided the premises and found illegal cigarette and tobacco products.

The raid took place on July 7 at the sort on Dogsthorpe and HMRC officers found 0.2 Kilos Amber Leaf HRT and 4120 mixed brands, with an estimated value of attempted duty evasion of £1,900, in a box behind the counter.

Subsequently, on July 12, the applicant for the new store licence was caught loading a van to dispose of evidence from a property that was being used to store large amounts of these items.

Some of the illegal tobacco products seized by HMRC.

A search of his home address revealed a large quantity of illicit cigarettes and tobacco also stored within his personal address.

The owner of the store has been identified by police and is not the one who has applied for a new licence for the shop in his name.

Police have stepped into attempt to block the granting of this licence as the applicant is currently still under investigation for the offence of evasion of duty.

In their reasoning Cambridgeshire Police stated: “Tobacco products require a UK English language warning statement on the front of packets of cigarettes and pouches of hand rolling tobacco.

Some of the illegal tobacco products seized by HMRC.

"They also require a picture warning on the rear of packets. The cigarettes seized do not have the correct labelling – although some may have the health warning on - they are not in English.

"It is unlikely that these foreign labelled cigarettes would pass the reduced ignition propensity test where all cigarettes are to be self-extinguishing thereby reducing the risk of fire if left unattended.

"This is where you light a cigarette and if left to burn in an ash tray it would hit the first speed bump and go out (there are 3 in a cigarette) as these are foreign cigarettes, they would burn all the way to end and potentially cause a house fire if left.”

The matter will now be discussed at Peterborough City Council’s Licensing Act 2003 Sub-Committee on Thursday August 11 at 1:30 pm.