A Swindon shop that was temporarily closed after the seizure of illegal tobacco could have its alcohol licence revoked, stated recent reports.
Swindon Borough Council’s licensing committee is due to review Polo Market’s licence, held by retailer Saman Sabouri in the coming week, BBC reported. The council last week gained a court order to close the premises for three months until mid-January.
The shop, in Commercial Road, was closed last week after it was found to have illegal tobacco products on the premises on five separate occasions between March and October. The products were found during visits by Trading Standards, Wiltshire Police and HMRC.
In a report to councillors, it said that “during these visits a number of unlawful tobacco products have been seized and evidence has been found that these products are being sold/supplied via the premises.
“A visit by Wiltshire Police located a number of unlawful products concealed in a cupboard hidden behind a shelving unit.”
The report claimed that some of the packaging was misspelled or had mistakes in the logo indicating that they were counterfeit.
A number of the packages had health warnings in foreign languages or not at the size mandated in the UK, again indicating they were fake, it said.
At a court hearing which closed the shop for three months, Wiltshire Police officer PC Paul Bezzant said that on two visits to the shop he found illegal tobacco and cigarettes in a padlocked fridge/freezer placed in the communal area of the two-storey block of flats above the shop.
The application to the licensing panel said that Sabouri attended court and did not contest that the incidents happened, saying he had been out of the country and had suffered some medical problems.