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Shop loses licence after illegal cigarettes found in Birmingham

By Tom Dare | Birmingham | News | Published:

A Birmingham shop has been accused of ‘putting profit first’ after police found a briefcase full of illegal cigarettes behind its counter.

24/7 convenience express on Horse Fair. Photo: Google

24/7 Convenience Express on Horse Fair was stripped of its premises licence following a hearing at Birmingham Council House on Wednesday.

During the hearing, the licensing sub-committee heard evidence from both West Midlands Police and Trading Standards, and each recommended that the shop be stripped of its premises licence.

The recommendations relate to an incident back in July of this year, when a locked briefcase was uncovered during an inspection by trading standards.

Though those carrying out the inspection were told by licence holder Mr Rahmat Hassanpoor that the briefcase belonged to someone ‘who used to be there’, after further investigation it was discovered that the code to the briefcase was Mr Hassanpoor’s wife’s birthday.

After opening the briefcase, it was found to contain ’57 packets of suspected illicit tobacco’, which the report says has ‘put the customer’s health and safety at risk and gained an unfair trading advantage over other local businesses.’

And, announcing the decision, Cllr Mike Leddy said: “After hearing all of the evidence, members of the sub-committee determined that the storage of illicit tobacco was indeed so serious that it could not be tolerated, and therefore resolved to revoke the licence as recommended by the chief officer of weights and measures.

“The sub-committee agreed with Trading Standards that the operation had been managed in a way that was not merely irresponsible, but also illegal.

“Mr Hassanpoor’s explanation did not inspire any confidence whatsoever that he understood the licensing objectives, and this warranted removal of him as the designated premises supervisor.

“The members of the sub-committee considered whether they could modify the terms of the licence or suspend the licence for a specified period, but were not satisfied that the licensing objectives would be properly promoted following any such determination.”

Tom Dare

By Tom Dare
@tomdare7

Local Democracy Reporter covering the West Midlands Combined Authority.

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