Two off-licence applications in Boston have been rejected by the borough council’s licensing sub-committee.
In the first, a man who applied for a licence to sell alcohol had his application refused after police said he was “a front” for the premises at European Food and Wine at 36 Red Lion Street, Boston.
Boston Borough Council’s licensing sub-committee rejected the application for a premises licence by Mr Sarbaz Khadir Mohamed.
The sub-committee was told Mr Mohamed had purchased the property before its previous alcohol premises licence was revoked at the end of last year.
Prior to the revocation of the previous licence police had raided the off licence and discovered illegal cigarettes hidden on the premises
Police also raised serious concerns in relation to how the store was operating on a daily basis.
On that occasion the licensing sub-committee agreed that premises licence conditions had been repeatedly breached and there was no confidence in the ability of the then owner.
Police were concerned that staff were not trained, licence conditions were being ignored, alcohol was being sold below the mandatory price, there was a failure to keep records of any type and alcohol was being sold outside licensable hours.
Cans of lager were on sale for below the legal mandatory price and the owner was unable to produce receipts that proved this alcohol had been purchased legitimately. The police believed they had been smuggled into the country to evade duty payment.
The sub-committee was told that Mr Mohamed had taken steps to address some of the shortcomings. He denied any knowledge of criminal activity taking place at premises outside Boston where he had previously worked and where the premises licence had been revoked.
He confirmed he worked there stocking shelves and cleaning for cash in hand, but became the premises licence holder after being asked by the owners there to apply when they were twice refused. The police told the sub-committee they considered that application to have been made unlawfully.
It was the police opinion that he had been asked to be a front for the Red Lion Street premises and was not in control of the business as a true premises licence holder.
The sub-committee was not satisfied the applicant had taken sufficient steps to address criminality at premises he had previously been involved with.
Police have off-licence crime concerns
Another off-licence application in Boston has been rejected. Mr Peshtwan Khidir Rasul Ahmadi’s application to transfer and vary a premises licence at 1 Vauxhall Road, Boston – he wanted to be the licence holder and designated premises supervisor – was refused by Boston Borough Council’s licensing sub-committee.
The police objected saying that to grant the applications would undermine the crime prevention licensing objective.
The sub-committee heard that test purchases had been made at premises where Mr Ahmadi had previously been the designated premises supervisor (DPS) – the Tatry store in Boston’s West Street. He said he had not been there at the time that illegal cigarettes were found. He said he only worked at those premises one day a week. As a result of discovery of a sophisticated hidden stock of illegal cigarettes at the store Mr Ahmadi had been removed as DPS at those premises due to his failure to fulfil his role.
Mr Ahmadi said he had learned from mistakes made at the previous premises and knew what duties and responsibilities would be expected of him. But he declared he had not been on any training courses, and did not feel he needed to.
The sub-committee said it was not convinced that the applicant now had the required knowledge to satisfactorily carry out the role of licence holder or DPS and had not taken steps to address his shortcomings.