Alcohol licence application leads to discovery of illegal cigarette operation involvement

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Mario’s Food Store, Grantham, have been refused a licence to sell alcohol by South Kesteven District Council, after concerns arose that the store was already involved in the illicit sale of smuggled tobacco products.

After looking into the alcohol licence application, police became concerned that attempts to hide who was behind the application, and their link to criminal activity were being made.

Recently, a hearing was held in front of South Kesteven District Council Licensing Sub-Committee, who heard evidence of how Mario’s Food store have been actively involved in the illegal sale of illicit cigarettes.

Sergeant Kim Enderby from the Alcohol Licensing Team said, “Once we received the application we began to do a bit of digging. We quickly became aware that the applicant, Mr Mansour Farag and his business partner had links to a shop at 9 Wharf Road, Grantham.

“This store has repeatedly come to the attention of Police, Trading Standards and HMRC because of its involvement in the illegal sale of smuggled cigarettes over a number of years.

“Both Farag and his associate had strong connections to the store throughout the time that illegal cigarettes were being sold there. There had been a deliberate attempt to mislead the police and council as to who was actually behind the new application.”