Morley corner shop stripped of alcohol licence after selling illegal cigarettes

A Morley corner shop has been stripped of its alcohol licence after selling illegal cigarettes.

By Rebecca Marano
Monday, 13th January 2020, 6:00 am
Illegal cigarettes found by West Yorkshire Trading Standards in Fountain Food & Wines in Morley.
Illegal cigarettes found by West Yorkshire Trading Standards in Fountain Food & Wines in Morley.

Fountain Food & Wines, on Fountain Street, had its licence revoked after selling illegal tobacco from the premises.

Undercover West Yorkshire Trading Standards officers were sold illegal packets of tobacco six times over the course of 10 months.

Officers paid £4.00 for a pack of 20 cigarettes which would usually retail at over £10 for a genuine product.

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West Yorkshire Trading Standards Officers found illegal tobacco in Fountain Food & Wines in Morley.

During the same period, Trading Standards inspected the premises three times.

On each occasion officers discovered the illegal tobacco in the store with the help of tobacco detection dogs.

Cigarettes were found behind stock on shelves and behind soft drinks cans in fridges, as well as in the rear yard of the building.

Despite the previous advice given and the numerous visits by Trading Standards, the store continued their illegal trade.

The shop was stripped of its licence after a hearing at Leeds Civic Hall on Tuesday, January 8.

David Lodge, Head West Yorkshire Trading Standards welcomed the licencing panel’s decision saying “The supply of cheap and illicit tobacco undermines tobacco control and is therefore a major threat to public health.”

“West Yorkshire Trading Standards will not hesitate to instigate a review of the alcohol licence for any licenced premises that trades in illegal tobacco. Licence reviews are a very effective enforcement tool in the fight against this illicit trade.”

Councillor Pauline Grahame, Chair of the West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee which oversees the work of Trading Standards said; “We want to see health improvement in this county and with poor and disadvantageous communities and young people often the target of this cheap tobacco, it does not encourage people to quit.

"Offenders need to know that they will face consequences if they choose to deal in these illegal products. I would encourage the public to continue reporting this type of activity to the Illegal Tobacco Hotline on 0300 999 0000.”

The licensee Mr Mahmood failed to attend the hearing but has 21 days to appeal the decision.