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Illegal booze and cigarettes were 'hidden' at two shops in Boston

By Boston Target  |  Posted: December 05, 2012

Cigarettes

SEIZED: Some of the thousands of cigarettes which were discovered

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TWO shops in Boston found with counterfeit cigarettes hidden in secret compartments have had their licences revoked.

Licence holders at Boston Food and Wine, on High Street, and Central Food and Wine, on West Street, had their licences to sell alcohol and cigarettes revoked following a licensing sub-committee at Boston Borough Council.

Mohammad Mohammadi, licence holder of Boston Food and Wine 42-44 High Street, failed to show for the hearing that heard 3,480 cigarettes and 0.4 kilos of hand rolling tobacco were found in a hidden compartment behind the counter.

Just over 4.5 litres of wine and 0.5 litres of liqueur that had no duty paid on them were also found.

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Chairman Paul Gleeson said: "Mr Mohammadi did not attend the hearing or provide written evidence and the sub-committee decided to proceed in his absence being satisfied that he had received notification of the hearing and that it was in the public interest to proceed with the hearing.

"Non-duty paid cigarettes had previously been found on the premises in 2011 and a review application received on May 22, 2011 when the licence was held by Mr Rahimi. This licence was subsequently transferred to Mr Rajabi and revoked.

"The sub-committee are of the view that while the premises licence has been transferred to Mr Mohammadi the history of the premises is such that the premises is consistently being used to sell counterfeit and non-duty paid goods."

Central Food and Wine, on High Street, also had its licence revoked.

The sub-committee heard from licence holder Jamal Parvez that he leased the premises in November 2011 to Mr Ahwmad. Mr Parvez also advised the committee that he had asked Mr Ahwmad for the licence to be transferred to him but this had not been done.

The committee heard that HMRC found quantities of smuggled tobacco and alcohol that had been hidden in secret hides around the shop.

Counterfeit tobacco and cigarettes were also found.

Mr Gleeson added: "Having read and heard evidence regarding the smuggled tobacco and alcohol found on the premises the sub-committee have decided that the prevention of crime and disorder licensing objective has been seriously undermined and that revocation is the most appropriate option."

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  • Roadscource  |  December 05 2012, 6:08PM

    Freedomspeech and Eatmygoal surely the point is that as usual the government is relentlessly chasing the little English man on the street for a couple of bob while allowing the big foreign companies to get away with millions of UK wealth? If Stars had to pay around 20% Corp tax on the reported "Starbucks, for example, had sales of £400m in the UK last year, but paid no corporation tax" then we could assume 50% profit so thats 40 million pounds the government has let slip away because they think its far more lucrative to chase Mr Smith for his back tax on 20 lamberts !

    |   4
  • Roadscource  |  December 05 2012, 6:08PM

    Freedomspeech and Eatmygoal surely the point is that as usual the government is relentlessly chasing the little English man on the street for a couple of bob while allowing the big foreign companies to get away with millions of UK wealth? If Stars had to pay around 20% Corp tax on the reported "Starbucks, for example, had sales of £400m in the UK last year, but paid no corporation tax" then we could assume 50% profit so thats 40 million pounds the government has let slip away because they think its far more lucrative to chase Mr Smith for his back tax on 20 lamberts !

    |   4
  • eatmygoal  |  December 05 2012, 4:53PM

    It is not necessarily "perfectly legal" though. In Starbucks particular instance it seems to be robust enough, but often schemes described as perfectly legal are not necessarily legal, they have just not been tested properly by the HRMC because the HRMC are often overstretched. For example, Rangers football club operated a perfectly legal scheme to avoid PAYE, it was challenged by the HRMC which would have then made it no longer perfectly legal, but in this instance they lost. It takes a lot less resource and knowledged to show that the schemes in this article are not perfectly legal.

    |   -1
  • FreedomSpeech  |  December 05 2012, 4:01PM

    The major difference being - whether you like it or not - that one is evasion (illegal) and the other avoidance (morally questionable, but perfectly legal). The fault doesn't lie with Starbucks, Google and Amazon, but with the UK Government for implementing a slack taxation system.

    |   1
  • Roadscource  |  December 05 2012, 12:37PM

    "Sounds like you may be jumping on a popular bandwagon without having a full grasp of the facts" Starrbuks if thats what we are talking about dont pay as much tax as other UK companies because their profits are transferred to a holding company registered in another country where tax payments are less onerous and avoid paying UK tax on money earned in the UK. Selling tabacco illegally means it has been bought in another Country where the tax applied to it is less onerous and then its smuggled in so duty and VAT are avoided - this to me is exactly the same thing as although you think all the Government pots of money are different, i dont, tax, duty, whatever its named goes to one Government and one Government bank account.

    |   -5
  • eatmygoal  |  December 05 2012, 10:47AM

    Assuming the shop pay VAT on the cigarettes (which is a big assumption) then the tax they are not paying is duty. They probably pay their taxes for the rest of the business as there would be more in this story. Starbucks are not paying tax on elements they should really be paying tax on. The difference to my eyes is that the non payment of tax in this situation is done by basic means of hiding the cigarettes and being underhand. The Starbucks non payment of tax is being clever and using loop holes in the taxation system that the HRMC have not tightened up or there has not been the political will to do so. I don't think either is right.

  • FreedomSpeech  |  December 05 2012, 9:54AM

    There is no duty on most types of coffee. Assuming that you're referring to Starbucks, VAT is charged on the products they sell, so the "proper UK tax" has been paid on them. It's the corporation tax that they pay/don't pay which is at issue. Sounds like you may be jumping on a popular bandwagon without having a full grasp of the facts.

    |   2
  • Pete67  |  December 05 2012, 9:44AM

    Things like this can only increase due to the incompetence of consecutive Chancellors putting too much tax on things. While ever taxes are too high people will continue to smuggle etc even if it means putting peoples health or even lives at risk.

    |   4
  • Roadscource  |  December 05 2012, 8:37AM

    "Illegal booze and cigarettes were 'hidden' at two shops in Boston" They are only illegal because they havent had the proper UK tax paid on them, similar to some popular High Street brands of coffee you can buy.....

    |   -5
  • Roadscource  |  December 05 2012, 8:36AM

    "Illegal booze and cigarettes were 'hidden' at two shops in Boston" They are only illegal because they havent had the proper UK tax paid on them, similar to some popular High Street brands of coffee you can buy.....

    |   -3

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