Store's licence revoked over 'illegal tobacco' concerns from Northamptonshire Police
A shop has had its licence revoked at the request of Northamptonshire’s police chief after it is claimed it sold illegal tobacco to an underage person.
Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police, Nick Adderley, requested that Northampton Borough Council review the licence of Kubus General Stores, on Kettering Road, as a result of several concerns the force had over the shop.
The licence was revoked during a private session of the council’s licensing sub-committee this morning (January 21) at The Guildhall, but many of the details were put in the public domain in council papers.
A written statement from PC Chris Stevens alleges that there was ‘an evidential link’ between the premises and the sale of illicit tobacco, despite warnings from Trading Standards.
A visit by underage test purchasers on May 31 resulted in the premises being searched, and a back door being discovered behind which 559 packets of cigarettes and 50 pouches of tobacco were seized. They were later confirmed to be counterfeit or non-duty paid, and not intended for the UK market.
Despite numerous attempts to contact the premises licence holder, no letters or calls had been returned and the last documented whereabouts was a visit to a family member in Iran in August, according to someone claiming to represent the store in a telephone call with council officers.
The hearing was eventually closed to members of the press and public due to the potential prejudicing of a future trial, with police representatives at the meeting indicating they were currently in the process of looking towards prosecutions.
In the short public section of the meeting to determine the licence, the sub-committee of three councillors was told that a new premises licence holder was attempting to purchase Kubus, and asked councillors not to revoke the licence.
The potential new licence holder already owns a store on Kettering Road, but it was a plea that was ultimately ignored as the committee determined during the private session to revoke the licence.