Kettering shop could face action over illegal tobacco sales

Maja Sklep in Rockingham Road.
Maja Sklep in Rockingham Road.

A Kettering off-licence could face action for selling illicit tobacco and cigarettes.

Maja Sklep in Rockingham Road is the subject of a licensing review application by Northamptonshire Police over the sales, which took place over a three-year period.

Officers from Trading Standards first investigated the store in March 2014, when they bought two packets of illicit Marlboro Lights in a test purchase.

10 weeks later they again bought illegal cigarettes in a test purchase, this time two packets of L&Ms.

In July 2014 they seized tobacco and cigarettes from behind the till, on a shelf behind the till and from a concealed unit under the counter.

In total they found 55 packets of illegal cigarettes, nine pouches of illict rolling tobacco and 72 packets of foreign labelled blunts.

In February 2015 an Enterprise Act court order was served on the premises holder, but 18 months later a test purchase found an illegal packet of Marlboro cigarettes.

This year, on January 20, the store was informed that it was being monitored by Trading Standards officers.

But on February 1, the store sold another packet of foreign labelled illicit cigarettes in a test purchase.

On February 22, officers found 786 packets of cigarettes.

53 of these were illicit.

Now police want to review the store’s licence to prevent crime and disorder.

In an application to Kettering Council’s licensing department, PC David Bryan said: “Northamptonshire Police call for the review of the premises licence for Maja Sklep under the licensing object of the prevention of crime and disorder.

“The application relates to the premises being used for criminal purposes, that of being used for the storage and sale of smuggled tobacco from 2014 to the last visit conducted at the premises in February 2017.”

Anyone wishing to make a representation on the application should contact Kettering Council’s licensing department on 01536 534291 or email licensing@kettering.gov.uk