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SFW Express loses appeal against revoked licence

An off-licence caught with hundreds of bottles of illicit alcohol and 60kg of illicit tobacco that took their case to appeal after Waltham Forest Council revoked their licence were today (5 February) told they would not be getting their licence back and would have to pay the Council’s costs of defending the appeal that amounted to just under £12,000.

On 15 November 2013 officers from the Council’s Trading Standards service, along with officers from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and the International Federation of Spirit Producers, visited SFW Express at 24-27 Church Lane, Leytonstone.

A detailed inspection of the alcohol and tobacco stock in the store revealed a number of discrepancies, not least that there were 242 bottles of counterfeit and non-duty paid wine and spirits and over 60kg of illicit tobacco.

The officers seized the goods and instigated an application for the review of the premises licence. On 4 June 2014 the Council’s Licensing Sub-Committee duly carried out the review culminating in the licence being revoked.

The licence holder appealed the decision, but the appeal hearing concurred with the Council and upheld the decision to revoke the licence. The Council was also awarded full costs to the tune of £11,983.

Counterfeit alcohol and tobacco can be dangerous and are invariably sub-standard. The profits from smuggled non-duty paid goods are often linked to criminal organisations.


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