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Labas Minimarket in King’s Lynn handed closure order in court after selling illegal vapes

A shop in Lynn which sold illegal vapes and illicit tobacco – and sold vapes to children – has been ordered to close following a court hearing.

In what is the second closure order for a shop selling illegal vapes granted in Norfolk, Labas Minimarket – based on Norfolk Street – was handed a closure order at Lynn Magistrates’ Court today.

A closure notice was first served at the premises on Tuesday. The application for the order was applied for by West Norfolk Council, and supported by Norfolk Police and Norfolk County Council’s Trading Standards Team.

Labas Mini Market in Lynn was handed a closure order in court today after selling illegak products
Labas Mini Market in Lynn was handed a closure order in court today after selling illegak products

A total of 33 complaints have been made over the last few months, with 32 due to underage sales, sales of illegal vapes and illicit tabaco.

In a raid on November 1, 405 illegal vapes and 13 packs of illicit cigarettes – as well as an illegal hide – were discovered.

A significant number of items have since been seized, including thousands of illegal vapes alongside tobacco, cigarettes and alcohol. The shop does not have an alcohol licence.

Following the initial notice, a court hearing was held at Lynn Magistrates’ Court today and a closure order was granted up to February 25. The borough council further secured the agreement of the landlord to work with the council to ensure that future activity in the premises was legal.

Cllr Jo Rust, the council’s cabinet member for people and communities, said: “The anti-social behaviour caused by this shop has had a negative impact on the local community and a nuisance to the public.

“The nature of the illicit products are a significant risk to people’s health and wellbeing.

“The list of completely unacceptable activities includes selling illegal products to children and targeting the most vulnerable in our society. I’m pleased that the borough council, working with partners in the police and trading standards, have put a stop to this.”

Sgt Darryl Grief, local policing team sergeant, said: “This is a real priority for our local team here in Lynn – we have had many people contact us with concerns around sales of vapes to children and the associated anti-social behaviour.

“This closure order shows that we will act on those things that affect the people in our community.”

Norfolk County Council’s cabinet member for communities and partnerships, Cllr Margaret Dewsbury, added: “The closure order granted by West Norfolk Council shows organisations with enforcement responsibilities across Norfolk work effectively together and will take action to protect public health, address the illegal trading of vapes and vaping products and their illegal sale to children and young people under 18.

“Illegal vapes, such as those seized during these visits, often have excessively high levels of nicotine which are over the legal limits, making them highly addictive and harmful to health.”

Anybody with concerns about unsafe products on sale, including illicit vapes, can report them to Citizens Advice on 0808 223 1133.

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