Trading Standards team finds smuggled cigarettes at Peterborough tobacco store
A Peterborough off-licence could lose its alcohol licence after being caught selling smuggled cigarettes to undercover tradingstandards officers.
The Best Deli store in Lincoln Road, Millfield, Peterborough, was identified as selling illicit tobacco as part of an operation in the autumn last year.
Trading Standards officers on 15 November 2013 carried out a series of raids across Peterborough, during which thousands of cigarettes were seized.
While eight shopkeepers were sentenced at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court last month for selling the dangerous tobacco, licence holder at the Best Deli Mansor Azher was offered a caution, after 10 packets were found in the shop.
However, Mr Azher declined to accept the caution, and now Trading Standards have recommended to Peterborough City Council the store’s premises licence to sell alcohol be revoked.
They have also requested that if the licence is not revoked, a number of strict conditions are placed on the licence holder.
Park Ward councillor John Peach said: “I think we need to make an example of businesses, to show that councillors, the council and residents will not stand for this sort of thing going on.”
A council spokesman said: “Let’s be clear, we will not tolerate the sale of illegally imported cigarettes in Peterborough as it defrauds taxpayers and honest retailers.
“However, when deciding whether to prosecute a business we have to weigh up the scale of the offence and whether it is in the public interest to pursue it through the criminal courts. There are other options available to us, including reviewing the licence of a premises.”
The eight other shop keepers who were raided on 15 November all were told to carry out unpaid work.
No one from The Best Deli was available for comment.