Grantham

Grantham business has alcohol licence application refused

A food store in Grantham has had its alcohol licence application refused by the council.

Councillors on South Kesteven District Council’s licensing sub-committee rejected the application by Mario’s Food Store on London Road at a meeting on Thursday, January 10.

Lincolnshire Police’s alcohol licensing team had objected to the application following concerns that the store was involved in the illicit sale of smuggled tobacco products.

Councillors felt that the licensing objectives would be undermined after hearing the evidence presented by the police.

The application was submitted in November 2017, with the store looking to sell alcohol from 7am to midnight every day of the week.

Sergeant Kim Enderby, from the alcohol licensing team, said: “We quickly became aware that the applicant, Mansour Farag and his business partner had links to a shop at 9 Wharf Road, Grantham.

“This store has repeatedly come to the attention of police, trading standards and HMRC because of its involvement in the illegal sale of smuggled cigarettes over a number of years.

“We were able to show the committee that both Farag and his associate had strong connections to the store throughout the time that illegal cigarettes were being sold there.

“There had been a deliberate attempt to mislead the police and council as to who was actually behind the new application.

“Because of our concerns we organised a plainclothes test purchase operation which was carried out on December 14, 2017. We targeted both the store at 9 Wharf Road and Mario’s Food Store at 22 London Road.

“Both stores sold a packet of illegal cigarettes to the plainclothes operative.”