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Wolverhampton shop loses licence for third time over fake cigarettes and underage booze sales

By Joe Sweeney | Wolverhampton | Crime | Published:

A Wolverhampton shop that was caught selling alcohol to underage girls on several occasions has had its licence revoked for a third time.

The shop on the corner of Lime Street and Ashland Street. Photo: Google

Batas Supermarket, in Lime Street, Graiseley, was also found to have a stash of 7,800 illegal cigarettes and 300g of tobacco during a raid last year.

Wolverhampton Council’s Licensing Services boss Elaine Moreton said the premises had “a history of non-compliance and failure to promote the licensing objectives of crime and disorder”, and that this latest review showed “a blatant disregard” for them.

“On January 25, 2018, the premises was subject to a review brought by Trading Standards due to issues relating to illicit tobacco and cigarettes,” she said.

“The Licensing Sub-Committee considered all the evidence before them at the hearing, both written and oral, and resolved to revoke the premises licence.”

Dianne Slack, the tobacco control officer at Wolverhampton Trading Standards, said the store had twice before had its licence revoked for illicit cigarettes while under different licence holders.

And in July last a year 15-year-old girl was able to buy a bottle of Stella Artois lager during an undercover sting by the council.

“An officer from licensing on the same day was able to purchase two single cigarettes, contrary to the Standardised Packaging of Tobacco Products regulations," Ms Slack added.

During other visits a 15-year-old volunteer bought a bottle a Smirnoff, a 16-year-old boy was served illicit cheap white cigarettes and an 18-year-old apprentice bought a packet of fake Richmond cigarettes.

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Then the stash of cigarettes and tobacco was found behind the counter when a warrant was executed in September.

The current proprietor and licence holder, Ghai Rashid Majeed, was not present during the inspection and was reported to be out of the country at the time of the hearing.

Ms Slack said that she was now in the process of writing a legal report about trading activities at the premises.

Councillor Keith Inston, who chaired the licensing sub-committee meeting said: “To lose a licence once is bad enough, but three times is a definite no no. The decision of this panel is to revoke the licence.”

Joe Sweeney

By Joe Sweeney
@JoeSweeneyLDR

Local Democracy Reporter covering Wolverhampton.

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