Police fail in an attempt to revoke Wisbech store’s alcohol licence

POLICE failed to get the licence of a Wisbech mini-market revoked despite claims that it has links to the seizure of 150,000 non-duty cigarettes and more than �9,000 in cash.

Earlier this year, Fenland District Council revoked the licence of Wisbech Mini Market, in Church Terrace, after hearing from Trading Standards that it was involved in the sale or possession of counterfeit vodka – but those proceedings are currently pending an appeal.

This week the council’s licensing committee decided not to act on a police request to review the shop’s licence.

Police told the committee: “The premises and nearby premises is linked with associates, avoiding duty by the sale of counterfeit and non-duty paid goods.

“To continue to allow these premises to trade alcohol puts the public at risk and undermines the crime objective of the Licensing Act 2003.”

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Police claimed that staff at Wisbech Mini Market also work at premises in the town where non-duty cigarettes were seized.

But the committee said: “While we acknowledge there are not requirements for a licence for the sale of tobacco, we do take very seriously the issues of non-duty paid produces which have been highlighted in this case.

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“There are clear indications of illegal activity both locally and within other areas of the country and we are of a mind that there are personal links between people associated with Wisbech Mini Market and those persons identified as committing criminal acts.”

But, the committee added: “Although these links exist, there are insufficient grounds to take any against the existing premises licence.”

Wisbech Mini Markets Ltd failed to get its designated premises supervisor changed from Soran Hussein to director Alan Baban.

Police objected to the application, saying Mr Baban would only be “a front person” for the shop and Mr Hussein would remain in control.

“This could risk public safety and allow criminal behaviour to continue,” said police.

The appeal against the revocation of the shop’s licence is due to be heard on December 18.

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