Former trader fined for illegal alcohol sales to underage buyers

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A FORMER Chesterfield retailer has been fined after admitting breaking a number of trading laws − including sales of alcohol to underage buyers.

Derbyshire County Council brought the prosecution against Fawad Karim, former owner of West Bars Convenience Store.

Karim appeared at Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court yesterday (May 3) where he pleaded guilty to two charges relating to alcohol sales to underage buyers, three charges relating to tobacco labelling, and one charge relating to labelling on vodka bottles.

He was fined a total of £549 and ordered to pay a victims’ surcharge of £15.

An order was also made that all the confiscated goods should be forfeited.

Councillor Kevin Parkinson, Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “We have a duty to enforce licensing laws and protect public safety.

“Offences such as these are taken very seriously. The vast majority of traders operate legally to make an honest living and this case’s outcome sends out a clear message to those that are tempted to break the law.”

Karim lost his licence in November last year after selling alcohol to underage volunteers, stocking vodka not produced at a legitimate distillery, and possessing 7,000 cigarettes which did not have UK duty paid.

Action had been taken after police and trading standards officers received a number of complaints that under age sales were taking place.

A 17-year-old volunteer was twice sold four cans of lager on separate visits to the store organised by trading standards.

And on a follow-up visit by trading standards officers, police and environmental health officers from Chesterfield Borough Council, bottles of ‘Arctic Ice’ vodka were seized which were found to have been illegally produced and failed to comply with labelling requirements.

Police found 1,600 cigarettes in Karim’s car and a further 5,400 at his home − none of which entered the UK through proper channels or had UK duty paid on them. Packaging also failed to comply with UK labelling and health warnings.