Councilors revoke Goole store license for illegally selling cigarettes ‘hidden with onions to mask the smell’
A Goole store where thousands of contraband cigarettes were found hidden under the stairs with onions to mask their smell has had its license revoked.
The Eastern Riding Council Licensing Act 2003 Sub-Committee voted to revoke the license of Dobre Bo Polskie, Boothferry Road, following a request from Humberside Police. The force said 15,000 cigarettes were found hidden in the store, some of which could have been sold to children.
The decision to revoke the license of its holder Kamaran Mahmood comes after trading standards officers and a sniffer dog visited the store at around 10.15am on Monday March 23. The store’s Boothferry Road location is close to other off-licences, houses, pubs and Restaurants.
Read more:Newland Avenue steakhouse implicated in ‘serious crime and disorder’, police say as shutters fall
Force Chief Constable Lee Freeman wrote in a later report that two male vendors were behind the counter when officers arrived, including the permit holder. Thousands of cigarettes, some counterfeit and others smuggled without paying duty, were found in a compartment under the store’s stairs.
The police chief described the hiding place as a sophisticated concealment mechanism that could be closed using an electromagnetic device. The police report said the hideout also contained a bag of onions, believed to be placed there in an attempt to mask the smell of sniffer dogs.
Many of those hidden were the 20 brand Richmond Blue, the most common counterfeit cigarettes sold locally and nationally by strength. Advisers were told the cigarettes could have been sold for £4 a pack, compared to a retail price of around £10.15 for a pack of 20 Richmond Blues.
Mr Freeman said the illegal sale of cigarettes was a clear disregard for licensing objectives which require holders to prevent risks to public order and safety. The police chief said: “There are also serious concerns about the aims of protecting children from harm, as by selling such products they will not meet the age restrictions for alcohol and the cigarettes.
“Cigarettes are duty free so they can be sold for pocket money to children, illegal tobacco is not a victimless crime – unscrupulous dealers selling it will target children, who are attracted by its low price.Some of the cigarettes are considered counterfeit, so there is a greater risk to public health and fire safety.
“These harmful products will not be tested or regulated for chemicals and could be even more harmful.” It is not within the remit of the communal commission to decide whether a crime has been committed but rather to decide whether the conditions of its license have been violated.
A criminal decision and penalty could be determined by the courts if Humberside Police choose to pursue the case.