August 3, 2022 11.29 am

Illegal cigarettes Boston shop faces closed-doors licence review

Extracting the cigarettes involved demolishing both the wall and the concealment using cutting equipment

Councillors in Boston will be asked to review the licence for a shop whose owner was found to be involved in the sale and supply of illicit cigarettes and vaping products.

Bryar Ismael was ordered to close Tatry Store in West Street until midnight on September 17 and pay £826 costs after a court hearing in July.

It followed a series of test purchases by Lincolnshire Trading Standards between March and May which found illegal cigarettes being sold.

Tatry Store on West Street faces a license review on Monday. | Image: Google Streetview

A further raid also found an electric hide and seized a bag containing illegal cigarettes, tobacco and vapes.

Images released by Lincolnshire Trading Standards show how officers had to demolish an entire false wall to get the hide out.

They confirmed that the wall at the end of the storeroom had been constructed solely to accommodate a hydraulically-operated concealment.

The haul was found behind a fake wall. | Image: Lincolnshire Trading Standards

Extracting the cigarettes involved demolishing both the wall and the concealment using cutting equipment.

During the hearing in July, the court was told by Mr Ismael’s defence that the stock was left over from the previous tenant and that his client – who had only taken on the shop in March – did not believe they were illegal.

However, Prosecutor Andrew Goldsborough felt Mr Ismael was engaged in or was likely to engage in criminal activity without the closure order.

The wall hid a hydraulic system. | Image: Lincolnshire Trading Standards

The stash the officers found. | Image: Lincolnshire Trading Standards

Boston Borough Council next Wednesday has the review of the store listed for 10am.

A report on the review had not been published at the time of publication but was listed as “to follow”.

A spokesperson for the council, however, said: “At the moment it’s an exempt report under Paragraph 7 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A to the Local Government Act 1972 so it won’t be published and the hearing will also be held in private session.”

The exemption reads: “Information relating to any action taken or to be taken in connection with the prevention, investigation or prosecution of crime.”