A West London newsagent that stashed “cigarettes and tobacco in Celebrations chocolate tubs” may now face sanctions from the council.
Licencing officers also found hundreds of erectile dysfunction medication tablets and unlabelled poppy powder in a van owned by the shop in Southall.
News & Booze on Western Road has been visited twice by Licensing and Trading Standards Officers over the last year. Officers have seized more than 600 packets of illegal cigarettes and now they want Ealing Council to remove the shop’s licence after an “obvious disregard for the law”.
On December 12, 2021, officers from the Trading Standards and Licensing team found a number of illegal goods in News & Booze, also known as Best Buy & Save. Inside the shop and a Ford transit van, officers seized 580 packets of cigarettes and tobacco, according to council documents.
Ten months later, on October 4, officers returned to the newsagents to complete another inspection. When asked by inspectors whether there were any more illegal products in the van, the shop owner replied: “Just a little”.
Inside the van, officers found three large cardboard boxes filled with 60 packets of cigarettes, 9.1kg of Indian tobacco and 20kg of unlabelled poppy power. Officers also found 170 sildenafil tablets and three packets of Kamagra – medication to treat erectile dysfunction – in the van.
A plastic bag with two celebration tubs was also found in the van. But, instead of chocolate, inspectors found illegal cigarettes and tobacco inside. The goods seized by officers were worth more than £1,500 in unpaid duty tax.
Licensing compliance enforcement officer Robert Dear, said in his report: “Due to the above incidents, the obvious disregard for the law and the fact that the premises licence already has extensive conditions I would ask that the ultimate sanction open to committee be exercised and the premises licence be revoked.”