Spalding shop is stripped of alcohol licence for second time after police raid finds illegally smuggled vodka

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A Spalding shop has had its alcohol licence revoked after a police raid found illegally smuggled goods for sale.

On Thursday 10th January 2019 a hearing was held in front of Spalding District Council Licensing Sub-Committee to review the licence of Spalding Express, 24 Commercial Road, Spalding.

Some of the illegally smuggled vodka found

Some of the illegally smuggled vodka found

After hearing all the evidence they agreed with the police that the premises had been caught in the illegal sale of smuggled products. Because of this they believed they were failing to promote the licensing objectives and their Licence was revoked. There is a 21 day appeal process; if no appeal is submitted then the revocation comes into action.

The store had previously had its licence revoked in 2016 for selling illegal cigarettes under a previous owner.

A police raid uncovered non-duty vodka was being sold for £16.99, so the store was able to make an illegal profit and disadvantage other legitimate business in the area.

The store was also found to be in breach of a number of their Premises Licence conditions- none of the staff had been trained and were unable to operate the stores CCTV system. There was no policy in place to deter underage sales whilst the owner displayed absolutely no knowledge of the licensing act or his responsibilities under it.

Sergeant Kim Enderby from the Alcohol Licensing Team said, “Unacceptable criminal activity was centred on this store, the way in which the store was being run was clearly undermining the Licensing Objectives.

"Having had the licence revoked once, when controlled by a different owner - we had hoped that this business was now operating legitimately.

"However we were soon receiving intelligence from members of the public that this store was once more involved in the sale of illicit goods.

"We seized some bottles of non-duty paid vodka but from studying the CCTV hard drive we were also concerned that this store was once again trading in illegal cigarettes."

"By revoking the licence Spalding Council send a very clear message that illegal activity is not acceptable on licensed premises.

"We had a number of licences revoked last year, because those responsible for the running of those premises were using them to conduct criminal activity.

"This is the first revocation of 2019, with similar operations planned County wide to target activity of this type. Any stores found to be selling illegal alcohol or cigarettes, or operating in such a way as to endanger members of the public can expect to be targeted and have sanctions taken against them.

"We remain committed to the disruption, investigation and prosecution of all criminal behaviour being conducted on our Licensed Premises.”