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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Illicit cigarettes ‘found hidden’ at shop leads to licence being revoked

A shop has had its premises licence revoked after illicit tobacco products were found in a specially-built hiding place.

The goods were seized by police and Trading Standards officers at K&B Stores in Harehills during an inspection in January, a licensing hearing was told.

Leeds City Council’s licensing sub-committee heard the shop at 31C Harehills Road was first visited on 19 January.

On that occasion, Trading Standards officers were sold a packet of non-duty paid cigarettes for just £3.50.

They then carried out an inspection with West Yorkshire Police on 24 January, when a concealment of goods was found in a door frame.

The hearing on Tuesday (7 May) was told 117 packets of cigarettes and ten pouches of hand-rolling tobacco were uncovered.

A report to the meeting said 119 oversized vapes were also found on site.

PC Neil Haywood told the hearing: “This was a professionally-constructed concealment. It’s quite clever, what they were doing.”

A statement from Babul Hussain, lead cheap and illicit tobacco officer, said disposable electronic cigarettes found at the shop appeared to contain more liquid than the legal limit.

His report said: “From discrepancies in the packaging on some cigarettes and from the foreign excise stamps on others it was clear to me the cigarettes were a mix of counterfeit and smuggled items.”

The hearing was told of health concerns over the sale of illicit goods in Harehills, but there was no specific evidence of the shop selling to children.

The committee unanimously voted to revoke the shop’s licence. K&B Stores was not represented at the hearing.

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