Shop faces losing license amid fake cigarette sales claims

Stonka, New Hall Lane, Preston
Stonka, New Hall Lane, Preston
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Bosses at a mini market are to be hauled before licensing chiefs for allegedly “flouting the rules”.

Stonka in New Hall Lane, Preston, faces being stripped of its licence, as police say it continually breaches 
conditions.

Officers say fake cigarettes have been found in the shop, as well as ‘denatured’ vodka.

They have now applied to council chiefs for the store’s licence to be revoked.

In a statement to 
Preston Council’s licensing 
committee, PC Julie Stewart said: “Despite the best effort of the police, the management of this premise continue to flout the rules and breach their premise licence conditions.

“The police have 
persistently tried to reinforce the conditions but cannot physically maintain a presence at the premise to ensure that the management are 
compliant on a daily basis.

“All other premises in the vicinity are complying with their conditions and therefore the police have no other option than to request a revocation of the premise licence.

“Police have persistently dealt with issues at this premise since it became licensed under a variety of premise licence holders.

“Issues have been non-compliance of premise licence 
conditions, supply of 
denatured vodka, supply of 
illicit tobacco, the ignorance of a premise licence suspension due to non payment, failed test purchase of alcohol.”

The statement said PC Stewart and Trading Standards officers went to the shop on September 2.

It said: “Mr Sabir (the licence holder) was not present and staff at the premise 
informed officers that he had been away for over a month and didn’t know when he would be returning.

“A significant amount of counterfeit cigarettes were seized from the boot of the workers car and also from behind a motorised panel in kitchen cupboards in the rear store room.”

It said cash, thought to have been made from the sale of 
illicit cigarettes was seized, as well as a baseball bat. 
Nobody from Stonka 
responded to the Evening Post’s request for a comment.

The commitee will meet on Friday November 13 to discuss the matter.