10 February 2017

For the second time this week, Sheffield City Council has revoked the alcohol licence of a shop found to be selling illicit goods.

Double Diamond, in Page Hall Road, was found to be selling illicit vodka and cigarettes, which hadn’t had duty paid and were lacking the correct labels.

Members of the licensing sub-committee yesterday (Thursday 9 February) decided to revoke the licence of the shop’s licence holder and designated premises supervisor, Sherko Mohammed. This means that the shop will now be banned from selling alcohol, following a 21-day appeal period.

At the hearing, Trading Standards officers presented evidence of the storage and supply of smuggled, illicit tobacco products at the premises in Page Hall.

Statutory health warnings on the cigarettes and tobacco were either missing or inadequate and many were potentially dangerous counterfeits. Illicit vodka also found on the shelves was non-duty paid and falsely labelled.

This licensing review was raised following intervention by a multi-agency group, involving Trading Standards, Sheffield Safeguarding Children Board, South Yorkshire Police and licensing officers.

At first, the group worked with Double Diamond to try and bring the business within the law, but this ended when the illicit vodka was discovered during a spot check.

Councillor Bryan Lodge, cabinet member for the environment at Sheffield City Council, said: “Each and every day our Trading Standards officers and others, both at the council and in partner agencies, work hard to keep the people of Sheffield safe from harm.

“I am pleased that, for the second time in a week, action has been taken to prevent illicit alcohol and cigarettes being sold in the city.

“I also hope that this decision sends a strong message to other business owners who think that they can get away with selling illicit cigarettes and alcohol. We can and will take action, and you could lose your alcohol licence.”

The loss of tax revenue from smuggled cigarettes and tobacco costs the UK economy between £2bn and £3bn each year. This is money that otherwise could be spent on public services.

Counterfeit alcohol and cigarettes also have none of the quality control measures put in place by the manufacturers of the genuine product and are likely to be far more dangerous to health. As such products don’t have duty paid on them, they can also be sold at dramatically lower prices, making them more affordable to children.

Members of the public who have concerns about shops operating outside of the law should call Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 03454 040506.