Sniffer dogs found illegal tobacco at Yardley shop

New licence holder refused licence application

DC Mini Market in Yardley

An application for a new licence holder to take over a shop where 107 packets of illicit tobacco were discovered has been refused.

Sniffer dogs found both counterfeit products and products with no duty paid hidden behind a display unit at DC Mini Market in Church Road, Yardley, in March last year.

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A Birmingham City Council licensing sub-committee revoked the licence of the shop in August – and since then an application was made to transfer the licence to a new individual – Sharifnejad Abubakr.

But following a licensing meeting held last month, councillors moved to refuse the transfer of the licence and variation of the licence to allow Mr Abubakr to become designated premises supervisor (DPS).

The sub-committee said it had “no confidence whatsoever that the applicant was capable of upholding” the crime prevention objective of the Licensing Act 2003.

Mr Abubakr did not attend the meeting and had not supplied documents showing he had taken over the premises from previous licence holder Mohammad Sheikhehpour.

The sub-committee – consisting of chair Cllr Nicky Brennan (Lab, Sparkhill), Cllr Mike Ward (Lib Dem, Sheldon) and Cllr Martin Straker Welds (Lab, Moseley) has now given its decisions.

What does the decision say about DC Mini Market in Yardley state?

The decisions states: “Without seeing the documents, the police were concerned that there could be some subterfuge – perhaps using Mr Abubakr as the named person whilst Mr Sheikhehpour remained the person in control.

“The police noted that Mr Sheikhehpour had presided over an unsatisfactory operation which had undermined the licensing objectives in Yardley.

“The police were therefore not prepared to countenance any risk at all of a continuing involvement by him in the management of the shop.

“Mr Abubakr had been asked to supply the documents, yet he had not, and he had also failed to attend the sub-committee meeting.”

“It was the police advice that the application should be refused.

“Accordingly the sub-committee determined that the correct course was to reject the variation application, in order to ensure that the crime prevention objective was not undermined.”

Mr Sheikhehpour appealed the initial decision to revoke the shop’s licence at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on January 6.

The appeal was dismissed by the district judge and costs were agreed at £1,000, awarded to Birmingham City Council.

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