Board Members Present: Councillor T Perry (Deputy Chair in the Chair), Councillor R Douglas, Councillor E Keller and Councillor E O Obasohan Apologies: Councillor L R Waker, Councillor D Hunt, Councillor E Kangethe, Councillor J E McDermott, Councillor M McKenzie MBE and Councillor D S Miles
59. Essex Food and Wine (Limited): 816 Dagenham Road, Dagenham, RM10 7UB
The Council’s Licensing Officer, Sajida Majid, presented a report in respect of a request for a Review to the Licensing Authority from the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham Trading Standards Service. The request was for a Review of the Premises Licence for the premises trading as Essex Food and Wine Ltd, 816 Dagenham Road, Dagenham, Essex, RM10 7UB. Mrs Majid’s report informed the Board that:
• The Premises Licence Holder and Designated Premises Licence Holder were
• The current hours of opening, full licence hours, conditions and restrictions
were detailed in the report and appendices to the report.
• The background for the Review being that as part of a joint operation goods
were found on the premises which did not contain the required UK duty for sale and the premises had a history of illicit goods and sale to alcohol to under 18 year olds.
Trading Standards Representation Mr Theo Lamptey, Chief Inspector of Weights and Measures, and Mr Cenred Elworthy, Trading Standards Officer, jointly presented the request for review. On the 26 April 2013, the Council Trading Standards Team conducted a joint inspection with the Police in order to identify illicit goods on Licensed Premises. As part of that operation Mr Cenred Elworthy, Trading Standards Officer visited Essex Food and Wine Ltd where he identified a 1 litre bottle of ‘Glen’s vodka for sale with counterfeit back labels and one with no UK duty stamp which were both on display for sale.
A further 9 bottles of ‘Glen’s’ vodka without UK duty stamps were on the floor behind the counter, along with a casing which did not contain the ‘UK Duty Paid’ markings used on legitimate goods outside bond within the UK. The lack of a UK duty stamp or counterfeit labels indicate spirits and tobacco which have been unlawfully distributed / sold without payment of duty to Her Majesty’s Government. Five 50g packets of Golden Virginia rolling tobacco without English language UK health warnings were found to the left of the cash register next to these were seven packs containing seven doses each of Kamagra oral jelly, Sildenafil Citrate (a form or Viagra) which is a prescription only medicine in the UK. Information received from the vodka manufacturers, Glen’s Catrine, had confirmed that the vodka would not have had UK tax stamps because that specific production run had been for export. Mr Elworthy advised that, Mr Erhan Karakas, the Premises Licence Holder was not available on the 26 April and Trading Standards were advised the PLH had left the business and was oversees, and the Mr Ilhan Karakas and Mr Mor did not know where he was. On the 6 June 2013, the two Directors and the Company Secretary, who was also the Premise Licence Holder, were interviewed under caution with an interpreter present. Mr Elworthy gave a precise of the interviews as the full details were contained in the appendices to the report. In regard to the Glen’s vodka found in the shop on 6 June, Essex Food and Wine Ltd (EFW) had indicated that they had purchased the bottles from a local wholesaler; however, the EFW did not have any invoices or receipts to confirm that purchase. Mr Elworthy advised he had personally visited the wholesaler on 13 June 2013 and requested access to the wholesaler’s database for purchases made by Essex Food and Wine Ltd. The database records indicated only one invoice in December 2012 to Essex Food and Wine Ltd and that invoice had shown that EFW had not bought any vodka in that month. Mr Elworthy stated that all parties have been less than forthcoming about the ownership and management of the premises, for example Mr Mor had stated that he was the owner of the business but at the interview had said he only worked there part-time and was not aware that he was a registered Director of the business. They could not produce invoices or receipts for alcohol purchased for sale. When asked why a bottle with no tax duty stamp was placed on a shelf, the response had been it is not practical to check every bottle. Mr Erhan Karak had indicated that he longer wished to be the Premises Licence Holder / Designated Premises Supervisor. Mr Murat Mor has made an application to transfer the licence into his name, and an application to be the new designated premises supervisor which would be dealt with later on the agenda. Mr Elworthy made comment about the previous premises history and the actions taken in regard to those incidents, namely:
• 07/09/09 – 4 x 500ml Carlsberg Lager was sold at the premises to a 15 year
old volunteer during a test purchase exercise. The Police had issued a warning as it was a first offence.
• 07/06/10 – Two bottles of Glen’s Vodka 70cl with rear labels seized by LBBD
Trading Standards alongside HMRC seizing 6 x 70cl mixed spirits, 38 x 1litre mixed spirits, and 260 x 75cl wine.
• 21/04/11 – Six bottles of counterfeit Jacob’s Creek wine and three bottles of
counterfeit Blossom Hill were seized from the premises. A warning letter was issued.
Trading Standards said they had concerns about lack of standard business practice, such as receipts and records kept for purchases made which in their view indicated sale of illicit goods. Trading Standards referred to Paragraph 11.27 and 11.28 of the Home Office Amended Guidance (Issued Under section 182 of the Licensing Act 2002) in regard to sale of smuggled tobacco and alcohol and said Trading Standards had no confidence in the premises and current management team’s compliance with the Licensing Objective of Prevention of Crime and Disorder and were asking the Board to revoke the Premises Licence. Agents representing the appellant raised the issue of the 2010 seizure from which at that time the appellant had advised Trading Standards had been purchased at MCC. The agent asked if Trading Standards were aware that there were issues with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) undertaking a large seizure of goods from Millennium Cash and Carry. Mr Elworthy advised that HMRC had been unable to satisfy the Courts in regard to the MCC seized goods and the goods had been returned to MCC. There was no evidence that the wine seized from EFW in 2010 had actually come from Millennium. The agent asked how Mr Elworthy had checked with MCC what their client had bought in 2013. Mr Elworthy advised that he had requested a search for ‘Essex Food’ on the database whilst he stood next to the Millennium Cash and Carry member of staff. The result showed two similar names, the 816 Dagenham Road premises and another based in a different part of London. The agent indicated a number of advertisement ‘flyers’ showing special offers which were sent to small businesses in the area by MCC, and circulated them for the Board to see. The agent asked if it was possible that MCC could have given the wrong cases to their client. Mr Elworthy advised that MCC do not have a bonded warehouse. There had been a neighbouring business that did have a bonded warehouse but that was a totally separate company and did not have any links with MCC, in addition, that company had left the premises next to MCC a number of years previously. Mr Elworthy added that he undertakes unannounced visits to MCC and has never seen any vodka or other spirits by the till, special offers or elsewhere in the premises to give him cause for concern. Mr Elworthy stated that he would expect an invoice or receipt to be required by any business as the minimum transaction record. MCC do issue numbered receipts and MCC database records the specific details of all transactions.
The Agent asked if the Golden Virginia rolling tobacco or the ‘Viagra’ had been displayed for sale. Mr Elworthy said they were not on a shelf but to the side of the cash register where they could be seen by the public and possibly could have been sold either deliberately or by accident. The Agent said that his client asserted that these items were for personal use by the staff. Mr Elworthy stated that based on past and recent evidence in regard to illicit vodka and wine being available for purchase on the premises; it is not unreasonable to concur that such sales could form a significant revenue stream for that shop. This, together with the tobacco without duty paid stamps being visible next to the cash register, would give an indication of the lack of understanding by the management to of its duty to comply with legislation and the Council’s Licensing Objectives. Metropolitan Police Representations Statement PC Corinne Holland presented her witness statement and stated this was the third time that this premises had come to the notice of Trading Standards for selling non duty paid alcohol. The premises had also had a police warning for underage sales. PC Holland said the Police’s view was that the management had shown complete disregard for the law and confirmed that the Metropolitan Police as a Responsible Authority were supporting the request for revocation of the Premises Licence. Essex Food and Wine Ltd Representations The Agent asked the Board to consider what is necessary and proportional in this case. The business has been in operation in these premises for 12 years and there are only three incidents years apart. The loss of duty on a bottle was £7.41 and it would seem excessive to close a business for under £100. The business was certain they had bought the alcohol from MCC, who had been targeted by HMRC before. The agent said that 70% of the business’s sales were from alcohol. Without a Premises Licence the business would be unsustainable and would close. This would have resulted in three men losing their livelihoods and this would also have a detrimental affect on their families. It was a popular local shop in a small shopping parade so the closure would also have a detrimental effect on the local community, including elderly customers. Mr Erhan Karakas said many of the shop’s customers have or do attend to the school opposite and he had seen the young people in the area grow up so they knew that he was aware of how old there were so they would not attempt to buy alcohol. He also stated that since they had introduced the refusals book, his premises had become known as a place where underage sales are not made and teenagers don’t tend to try. There were no disorder problems at the premises. Mr Erhan Karakas said that he had been in Cyprus in April for family reasons and he wanted to transfer his responsibilities for the shop as he wants to return permanently to Cyprus and in order to care for his sick father. The Agent added that there was no suggestion that the alcohol on sale in April had
been unfit for consumption, only that it did not have the correct duty stamp on the back. Mr Erhan Karakas said it was not worth providing substandard goods because if you treat customers badly they do not come back. Mr Erhan Karakas added that once the counterfeit bottles of wine had been pointed out to him in 2011 he had found another bottle in the stock and he had taken that bottle straight to trading standards, he would not have done that if he had deliberately and knowingly bought counterfeit alcohol. Mr Karakas wanted to return to Cyprus and transfer the business responsibilities to his brother Mr Ilhan Karakas and his nephew Mr Murat Mor. Mr Mor has recently been issued with a Personal Licence to sell alcohol by the Metropolitan Police. Mr Mor was a good citizen, he had no convictions and in the past had been a traffic warden and had also worked for Transport for London. Mr Lamptey asked who was making the purchases around April, Mr Erhan Karakas said most of the time he did the buying but sometimes when he was in Cyrus or if he was not around and they had run short of stock it was Mr Ilhan Karakas. PC Holland asked if it was not basic business practice to keep and log receipts for accounts purposes and for their accountant. PC Holland said she was surprised that the business was so lax in keeping receipts and records bearing in mind that there had been problems in counterfeit goods in the past at the premises. They alleged that they had bought the goods in 2013 from MCC but had not been provided with an invoice, would that not have alerted them that there could have been problems. The Agent said they do not have any explanation as to the lack of proof of purchases but agreed that there had been a lapse in procedure and his clients accepted that in hindsight. Mr Elworthy advised that he had advised the business in recent years in regard to the risks of door-to-door sales purchases in regard to counterfeit and illicit goods. Councillor Perry asked who would purchase the alcohol in future and was advised by Mr Erhan Karakas that when he returns to Cyprus that Mr Mor would be the main purchaser with Mr Ilhan Karakas on occasions when Mr Mor is not available. The Agent indicated that they had provided some conditions for consideration should the Board be minded not to Revoke the Licence. THE DECISION The Board having considered the evidence before it and representations made agreed not to revoke the Premises Licence, but in order to meet the Council’s Licensing Objective of ‘Prevention of Crime and Disorder’ the Board added the following additional conditions to the Premises Licence: Staff Either the Premises Licence Holder or a certified as trained Personal Licence Holder/ Designated Premises Supervisor must be on the premises at all times the premises are Licensed to sell alcohol. Staff Authorised To Make Sales Of Alcohol
A written record of those authorised to make sales of alcohol shall be kept, this should be endorsed by the DPS with the date such an authorisation commences. This record shall be available to Police Officer, Police Community Support Officer, an authorised officer of the Local Authority or HMG /Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs. Staff Training 1.
All new members of staff shall, and before first starting to sell alcohol, be trained as to their responsibilities under the Licensing Act 2003, namely sales to underage, persons already intoxicated, sales by proxy, licensable hours, correct Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) certification on products, and any other conditions attached to the Premises Licence.
The above training shall be repeated for all staff or those who work (paid or unpaid) in the premises at least every six months.
All training should be recorded in a staff training log. Confirmation that the training has been received should be signed by both the person trained and Designated Premises Supervisor / Premises Licence Holder) and be made available on demand to any Police Officer, Police Community Support Officer, an authorised officer of the Local Authority or HMRC.
Purchase of Alcohol from Reputable Wholesalers, Records and Duty Paid Checks 1.
All alcoholic goods to be bought from reputable wholesalers.
No alcoholic goods to be bought from door-to-door sellers.
The Premises Licence Holder, or Designated Premises Supervisor, shall ensure that all receipts for alcoholic goods bought include the following details:
Seller’s company details, if applicable
A stock control system shall be in operation so that the Designated Premises Supervisor / Premises Licence Holder can quickly identify where and when specific alcoholic goods have been purchased.
Ultra violet light(s) must be provided at the premises for the purpose of checking the UK Duty Stamp on spirits as soon as practical after they have
been purchased. If any spirits bought by the company have UK Duty Stamps that do not fluoresce under ultra-violet light, or are otherwise suspicious, the Licensee should retain the items and identify the supplier to the Local Authority (Trading Standards Department) and HMRC as soon as possible.
An ultra violet light must also be used in the shop at point of sale for each bottle in order that the purchaser can see the duty paid stamp(s).
Copies of the documents referred to above shall be kept in an ordered manner. These records are to be kept on the premises for at least 6 months.
Documents above shall be made available to any Police Officer, Police Community Support Officer, and authorised officer of the Local Authority or HMRC:
Documents / records under 6 months – on demand
Documents / older records – within seven days of request.
Personal Supplies and Medications No personal supplies of alcohol, tobacco or medications shall be stored in the premises or left on the shop floor. Challenge 21 The Premises shall operate in accordance with the ‘Challenge 21’ scheme, as a minimum. and: (a)
Any person who appears to be under 21 years of age must be asked for identification documentation (ID) to prove they are of the legal age to purchase alcohol;
The only proof of age accepted in respect of the sale of alcohol shall be photo driving licence, passport and other approved photographic ID bearing the PASS hologram;
Notices to this effect should be displayed in a clear and prominent position at the premises.
A refusals book shall be kept at the premises, in which must be recorded the date, time and circumstances of instances where the sale of alcohol is refused, including any attempted purchase by a young customer which had been refused.
Entries in this book must be made as soon as practicable after the refusal of the sale.
The Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) should check and sign the
This book must be made available for inspection by any Police Officer, Police Community Support Officer or authorised officer of the Local Authority.
The Chair added on behalf of the Board that due to the incidents raised this would be a final warning to those who own and work in the premises that they must comply fully with the legislation and conditions of the Licence and the Board would seriously consider the revocation of the Licence should the Premises come before the Board in future.
60. Essex Food and Wine (Ltd): 816 Dagenham Road, Dagenham, Essex, RM10
7UB Transfer Licence (Ref: 022112) and Vary DPS (Ref: 022113)
The Council’s Licensing Officer, Sajida Majid, presented a report in respect of a request to the Licensing Authority to transfer the Premises Licence from Mr Erhan Karakas to Mr Murat Mor for the premises trading as Essex Food and Wine, 816 Dagenham Road, Dagenham, Essex, RM10 7UB. Objections had been received from the Police, as set out in the report, Following discussion the Chair agreed to adjourn the meeting at 18:40 for 15 minutes to allow the Applicant and Agent to discuss the options available. No business was conducted buy the Board during the adjournment and the meeting reconvened at 18:55. The Agent advised that Mr Ilhan Karakas will be putting in a fresh application to become the Premises Licence Holder, Mr Murat Mor will be doing the same as Designated Premises Supervisor. Mr Erhan Karakas will be returning to Cyprus shortly after the business transactions have been completed and Mr Mor would then be working at the premises full time. The Agent advised that the Police had indicated that they would not raise any objections to the above applications when made. On that basis the current application before the Board was withdrawn.
The Licensing Officer advised that there were no Appeal to report.
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