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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Shop loses premises licence after illicit tobacco goods are found

A shop has lost its premises licence over the sale of illicit tobacco products which could be a risk to public health.

Bucovina, on Harehills Lane, has had its licence revoked by Leeds City Council after goods were seized by Trading Standards officers.

The council’s licensing sub-committee heard that on January 19, an officer was sold a packet of cigarettes for just £4 during a test purchase operation.

A report to a hearing on Tuesday (7 May) said: “These were illicit cigarettes by nature of not having UK duty paid on them.”

A further visit was carried out on 24 January, when 22 packets of cigarettes and nine oversized vapes were seized.

The hearing was told the shop previously visited on 20 September, 2021, when a packet of non-duty paid cigarettes was sold for £5.

On another visit on 28 September that year, the licence holder handed over a rucksack containing illicit foreign cigarettes.

The report said: “The premises was searched by a detection dog and further illicit cigarettes were found concealed in a box hidden on a shelf.

“The total number of illicit cigarettes found was 197 packets.”

The hearing was told the sale of illicit tobacco was a widespread problem in Harehills.

PC Neil Haywood said: “This is not an isolated case. It is the community of Harehills that suffers the effects of this.”

He added: “These are dangerous items. The origins are unknown. We don’t know what is in these products.”

The committee was also told cans of high-strength lager were found in fridges near the entrance to the shop.

That breached licence conditions because high-strength products should be kept in areas only accessible by staff.

Bucovina was not represented at the licensing hearing. The sub-committee unanimously voted to revoke the premises licence.

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