Burnley shop to keep licence despite selling fake cigarettes

A to Z off licence, Raglan Road, Burnley. Photo: Google
A to Z off licence, Raglan Road, Burnley. Photo: Google

Shop bosses in Burnley have avoided being stripped of a licence to sell cigarettes and alcohol.

Burnley Council’s licensing subcommittee met to discuss a licence review for A to Z Off Licence, Raglan Road, Burnley, following complaints from Trading Standards.

It came after a series of complaints about the sale of illicit cigarettes and failed test purchases over the course of almost two years.

In February 2017, officers visited and found that the tobacco gantry was open.

Advice was given by Trading Standards officers that the cabinet must be kept closed and tobacco should not be on open display.

In August 2017, Qaiser Mohammed was reported as a result of a number of failed test purchases relating to illicit tobacco.

On July 17th, at Burnley Magistrates’ Court, he was found guilty of six tobacco offences, including one e-cig labelling offence.

In October 2017, a test purchase was carried out and a packet of Golden Virginia tobacco was sold with foreign health warnings. Later that month, it was noted that the tobacco gantry was not closed and 225 e-liquid bottles were seized as improperly labelled.

In May last year, a test purchase was carried out and a packet of counterfeit Richmond cigarettes was sold for £4.

The following month, another test purchase was failed but no further illicit tobacco was found in an inspection.

Another failed test purchase happened in October last year, while complaints about selling counterfeit tobacco were made in July last year and January this year.

At the meeting, Sam McConnell from Lancashire County Council, presented the case on behalf of Lancashire County Council’s Trading Standards.

David Lawson, of Donald Race & Newton, presented the case on behalf of Kamran Arshad, who is the premises licence holder and the designated premises supervisor.

The sub committee decided not to revoke the premises licence but to impose a number of conditions.

A strict check 25 policy is to be implemented, with documented records in an A4 binder containing a refusals register, a signed check 25 policy and records of all staff employed at the premises.

The shop is to keep 28 days worth of CCTV coverage.

Qaiser Mohammed, Ali Mahmood and Aioun Shah are not to enter the premises of A to Z Off Licence.

And it was agreed if Kamran Arshad was to appear before the Licensing Committee again regarding A to Z Off Licence, a more strict approach may be taken.