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Businessman Loses Licence After Selling Illegal Cigarettes and Alcohol

A Leicester businessman has been stripped of his licence to sell alcohol after Trading Standards seized more than 1,000 illicit tobacco products in a year from his store.

North West Leicestershire District Council’s (NWLDC) Licensing Sub-Committee agreed to ban European Supermarket in Jackson Street, Coalville, from selling alcohol at a licensing hearing earlier today (Wednesday, June 28).

This is only the second time in the last 15 years that the authority has decided to strip a premises of its licence, and comes after an extensive operation and concerns raised by the Leicestershire Trading Standards Service.

Fakheraddin Qazizadeh, of Leicester, the licensee and director of European Supermarket, appeared before the committee earlier today.

Leicester Time: Businessman Loses Licence After Selling Illegal Cigarettes and Alcohol
Picture: Google

Qazizadeh will have 21 days to appeal the decision to a Magistrates’ Court, before the ban takes effect.

Councillors heard during the meeting that between 2022 and 2023, Trading Standards seized more than 1,000 packets of illegal cigarettes from the premises and cars belonging to Qazizadeh.

They also successfully carried out multiple test purchases for the illegal tobacco and witnessed staff in the shop selling alcohol without holding a personal licence.

Leicestershire Trading Standards Service, Leicestershire Police and the NWLDC Licensing team also visited the businesses in March to find that most of the licence conditions for the shop were being ignored. These were:

  • No evidence of staff training for the sale of age-restricted products
  • Refusals log for sales was not maintained
  • No personal licence holder on duty
  • No written display authorising someone without a personal licence to sell alcohol
  • No staff records on site for staff working for the business
  • CCTV was not working
  • Employees in the shop could not work the CCTV.

Councillors on the sub-committee heard that authorities had tried to work with the staff and licence holder at European Supermarket for a number of years, sending letters and consistently reminding the business of its need to follow to the licence conditions.

Qazizadeh confirmed to the subcommittee that all of the conditions on the licence were now being followed.

Councillor Michael Wyatt, NWLDC Portfolio Holder for Community Services, said: “Selling illegal products is something we cannot tolerate from our licensed premises, so I’m pleased to see that the licensing subcommittee has taken firm action in this case. 

“This is only the second time in more than a decade that we have taken the decision to remove a licence, but should serve as a reminder to licence holders that we take offences such as this very seriously.

“Our licensing objectives are there to prevent crime and protect people from harm, so I encourage all residents to share any concerns they have about businesses selling illegal products or failing to protect customers.”