February 15, 2021 4.47 pm This story is over 38 months old

Lincoln shop loses licence after selling industrial alcohol as vodka

It was found selling fake booze and illegal medicines

By Local Democracy Reporter

A convenience store in Lincoln has lost its alcohol licence after police raided the shop and found illegal medicines and illicit vodka.

Police visited Zabka on Portland Street on December 9 and found more than 190 illegal medicine products, as well as 62 bottles of non-duty paid alcohol and five bottles of illicit Krackoff Vodka.

The vodka was sent for testing and was found to contain 150,000 times more industrial alcohol than is legally permitted.

The alcohol level inside the vodka was not just alarming, but illegal too. | Photo: Lincolnshire Police

It is the first time this brand of vodka has been seized from a shop in mainland Britain, and any more cases of Krackoff being sold should be reported to the police or trading standards.

Other items were sold at the store that had been found to come from the illegal black market, distributed typically by criminal gangs.

Some of the medicines being sold were listed as being prescription only products in the UK, which should only have been available from a pharmacy.

The alcohol licensing team from the force then submitted paperwork for a licence review hearing, which took place on Thursday, February 11.

Upon hearing the evidence, it was agreed to revoke the alcohol licence of Saman Osman Ali’s store.

Some of the medicines on display, including some requiring prescriptions. | Photo: Lincolnshire Police

There is now a 21 day appeal process to allow Mr Ali to respond, and if no appeal is submitted his licence will be taken.

Sergeant Kim Enderby from the alcohol licensing department said, “The revocation of this premises licence sends a strong message from City of Lincoln Council, that this sort of activity at licensed stores will not be tolerated.

“The store potentially put the health of its customers at risk, as well as gaining unfair advantage over neighbouring legitimate stores.”

Sergeant Enderby continued, detailing some of the owner’s claims and excuses: “The owner Mr Ali claimed all the alcohol was for personal use and that he did not know the medicines were illegal.

“He told the committee that the medicines were purchased off an unknown male who came to his store.

“He displayed a lack of knowledge of his responsibilities within the licensing act and the committee believed he presented a risk to promoting the licensing objectives.

“We remain committed to the disruption, investigation and prosecution of all criminal behaviour being conducted on our licensed premises.”