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.
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."