Half a million illegal cigarettes found by Corby police officers
Plucky police officers investigating a premises licence application in Corby managed to discover a container full of illicit cigarettes.
Euro Express in New Post Office square has been associated with the sale of illegal cigarettes since 2014.
The shop owner Farman Mustafah lost his licence to sell alcohol in May after several incidents where he was found to be in possession of illegal cigarettes, including the discovery of hundreds hidden in a secret compartment.
But last month, a different person - Khalid Mustafa from Peterborough - applied for a new alcohol licence for the shop, promising to implement a challenge 25 scheme, to keep high-quality CCTV, and to retrain staff.
Just two days after the application was submitted to Corby Council on October 10, PC Chris Vickers was on patrol outside the shop when he saw a woman holding two packets of suspicious cigarettes that had been bought in Euro Express.
Then On October 19, PC David Bryan witnessed someone again try to buy illegal cigarettes, and then on October 31, a test purchase carried out by a Polish woman saw her able to buy a packet of cigarettes branded LD Impulse.
Suspicious officers did not stop there - they then discovered a storage container had been rented in Corby in Khalid Mustafa’s name.
They went to the lock-up with officers from HMRC and Trading Standards on November 6 and a tobacco detection dog indicated there were cigarettes inside.
When they broke into the container, they found 502,100 cigarettes and 4.3kg of rolling tobacco.
Corby Council is due to hear the licensing application on December 3.
Following their discoveries, police officers have objected to the granting of the licence.
The public health authority has also submitted a report to councillors which states that the area around New Post Office Square is eighth highest out of 422 small areas in Northamptonshire for alcohol harm.
Their findings show the neighbourhood has high levels of alcohol-related admissions to hospital, the highest rate of violent crime in the whole county and high levels of people receiving treatment for alcohol related illnesses.
They have objected to the granting of a licence.