— Updated with details of two further shops affected
Four Lincoln shops had their alcohol licenses cut after police raids found counterfeit alcohol and non-duty paid tobacco on their premises.
Finest Foods and International Mini Market on the High Street and Kubus and International Foods on Portland Street were found to either have counterfeit tobacco, counterfeit alcohol, non-duty paid goods or more than one type of contraband.
The raids, carried out in Lincoln in August 2011, targeted premises suspected of supplying counterfeit and non-duty paid goods.
As a result of the HMRC, Lincolnshire Trading Standards and Lincolnshire Police operation, reviews of the premises’ alcohol licences were submitted to the City of Lincoln Council’s Licensing Authority.
Analysis of the vodka found at Finest Foods on 93 High Street showed it to contain Isopropyl, which is not a normal constituent of vodka.
This is widely used as a solvent and as a cleaning fluid, which is unsafe and not fit for human consumption.
HMRC said other products seized from the venue included 4,940 cigarettes and 10 litres of spirits that did not have the relevant duty paid for them.
Analysis of the tobacco seized showed it also to be counterfeit with supporting evidence to show that the weights of the goods were too low and the product was affected by mould growth.
Lincolnshire Police also found 4,440 cigarettes without the relevant duty paid for them at Kubus on 30 Portland Street.
Some 694 non duty paid cigarettes, 1.45kg of counterfeit tobacco and 23.8 litres of non duty paid vodka were seized from International Mini Market on 373-374 High Street.
International Mini Market also failed to rectify several licence conditions relating to CCTV and under age sales of alcohol since July 2011, and also failed an underage test purchase operation in October.
At International Foods on 18 Portland Street officers found and seized 1,600 non duty paid cigarettes, 7.65kg of counterfeit tobacco, 13.3 litres of non duty paid vodka and 0.7 litres of non duty paid gin.
A further 680 non duty paid cigarettes were found within the shop assistants vehicle, they were also seized by officers as liable to forfeiture and further 4,180 non duty paid cigarettes which were found in unusual locations and hidden from normal sight.
Both International Foods and International Mini Market were operated by the same premises licence holder.
The alcohol licenses for the four shops were revoked on January 11 and 12, and they can continue trading for another 21 days, the same period they can lodge an appeal on the decision.