A shopkeeper who allegedly “engaged in the sale and supply of illicit cigarettes and vapes” has been ordered to close for two months and told to pay £826 costs.
According to local reports, retailer Bryar Ismael, director of Tatry Boston Ltd, cannot open Tatry Store, in West Street, Boston, until midnight on September 17.
It comes following test purchases by Lincolnshire Trading Standards in March, April and May in which illegal cigarettes were sold. A bag containing illegal cigarettes, tobacco and vapes was also seized from the store, along with cigarettes in an electronic hide, reports stated.
A closure notice was issued on June 14 while a closure order was granted by Boston Magistrates’ Court during a third court hearing on Monday (18) after Ismael finally accepted his wrongdoing.
Andrew Goldsborough, prosecuting for the council, said, “It is accepted that Mr Ismael was engaged in, or if the order is not granted, is likely to engage in, criminal activity that is, the sale and supply of illicit cigarettes and vaping products.”
Matthew Tye, for Ismael, meanwhile, said that there are issues [at the shop] going back to 2018 but he only took it on in late March this year.
“It’s fair to say there was an element of naivety when he took over the shop, that when he took over he continued to sell alcohol even though he did not have the relevant licence to do so.”
The retailer also claimed that the cigarettes found in a hide in the shop belonged to the previous tenant, according to the reports.
“There was stock left over in the shop from the previous tenant including a bag of various cigarettes, tobacco and vapes etc. He accepts that on March 29 he sold some cigarettes with foreign warning labels on them to a customer. He believed that to be left over stock – he did not believe they were illegal,” heard the court.