Licence bid for King’s Lynn shop ‘aims to cover up criminal activity’ - police

GV Picture of Business Premises in King's Lynn.
Kubus East European Market  119 London Road) ANL-170601-171101009

GV Picture of Business Premises in King's Lynn. Kubus East European Market 119 London Road) ANL-170601-171101009

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A licence application for a Lynn shop has been dismissed by police as an attempt to cover up criminal activities related to the sale of smuggled cigarettes.

The claim has been made ahead of a series of licensing hearings on three premises in the town centre, which are due to take place later this week.

GV Picture of Business Premises in King's Lynn.
(Milano Barber Hairstyling 41 Norfolk Street) ANL-170601-171019009

GV Picture of Business Premises in King's Lynn. (Milano Barber Hairstyling 41 Norfolk Street) ANL-170601-171019009

Trading Standards officials are seeking a review of the sites’ licences in connection with the alleged sale of illegal tobacco products and have called on councillors to consider revoking them altogether.

The affected shops are Lynn Express and Max Mini Market, both in Norfolk Street, and Kubus in London Road.

Officers said the Max Mini Market premises is currently being used as a hairdressing salon.

All three sites are licensed for the sale of alcohol. The licences are held in the name of Sarhad Salari.

GV Picture of Business Premises in King's Lynn.
(Lynn Express 107 Norfolk Street)

GV Picture of Business Premises in King's Lynn. (Lynn Express 107 Norfolk Street)

But the reviews have been sought in response to intelligence suggesting smuggled tobacco products have been illegally sold from Kubus since November 2013.

Documents published ahead of West Norfolk Council licensing hearings, due to take place this Friday, said 5,000 illegal cigarettes and 1.1 kilograms of illegal rolling tobacco were seized from the premises in September last year.

Trading Standards officer Shaun Norris said a criminal investigation was ongoing into the seizure.

He added: “We submit that Salari has demonstrated he is wholly unsuitable to manage such licensed premises.”

A total of four hearings are scheduled to take place at the council’s headquarters in Chapel Street, Lynn, on Friday.

One of them relates to an application to transfer the licence for the Lynn Express site from Mr Salari to Joana Laurusonyte.

But Norfolk Police objected to the move, because of the links to Mr Salari.

The force’s licensing officer, Chris Brooks, said: “I think this application is an attempt to circumvent the review process and leave him free to continue his criminal enterprise from at least one shop should his licence be revoked at review.”