Shop could lose licence over counterfeit tobacco sales

A Pontefract town centre off licence where counterfeit cigarettes and tobacco were being sold could have its licence revoked.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 16th May 2017, 1:56 pm
Updated Sunday, 4th June 2017, 9:07 pm
Zabka  illegal cigarettes and tobacco
Zabka illegal cigarettes and tobacco

Wakefield Council’s licensing enforcement team has submitted an application to revoke the licence at the Zabka shop in Horsefair Precinct, Pontefract.

The team found counterfeit cigarettes under the counter being sold cut price during a search of the shop on February 23.

In a report to Monday’s meeting of the council’s licensing committee, licensing enforcement officer Paul Dean stated: “Mr Minoi is responsible for the items sold in his shop and in my view there is no question that the cigarettes and tobacco found stored under the counter were being made available to the public.

The empty tobacco display at Zabka

“There was a cigarette display cabinet behind the counter for legitimate cigarette and tobacco sales, but it was found to be empty other than a few packets of cigarette filters and papers.”

Mr Minoi was already known to Wakefield Council’s licensing enforcement team because of a previous compliance check at Tyskie Off Licence in Kirkgate, Wakefield, in June 2015 when he was the premises licence holder.

Mr Minoi was given a written warning following that visit after a number of licence breaches were found, including failure to train staff to use CCTV and a failure to keep footage for 31 days.

He was also found to be selling high-strength lager below the minimum price at Tyskie Off Licence.

The empty tobacco display at Zabka

Mr Dean stated in the report: “This illegal activity coupled with the breaches of his licence conditions demonstrates Mr Minoi has continued to show little regard to promote any of the licensing objectives.

“Despite Mr Minoi previously being warned in 2015 for non-compliance he has not learned from this and has continued to trade with the same attitude and taken matters further with the illegal sale of cigarettes.”