Shopkeeper fined for illegal drinks sales

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A SHOPKEEPER has been fined nearly £550 for selling alcohol to underage youths and stocking illegal vodka and cigarettes.

Fawad Karim ran the West Bars Convenience Store, Chesterfield, but lost his licence after he was caught on two occasions selling cans of lager to a 17-year-old volunteer.

Trading standards officers, environmental health workers and police then searched the shop and found bottles of vodka called Arctic Ice, which had not been produced at a proper distillery.

Police also discovered 7,000 cigarettes in Karim’s car and home, none of which entered the UK through the correct channels or had duty paid on them.

The cigarette packaging also failed to comply with labelling and health warning requirements.

Action was taken against Karim after a number of complaints were received from the public.

The shopkeeper admitted a series of charges relating to underage alcohol sales, tobacco and vodka labelling during a hearing at Chesterfield Magistrates’ Court. He was fined £549, with a £15 victim surcharge. The bench also ordered that all the confiscated goods should be forfeited.

Coun Kevin Parkinson, Derbyshire Council cabinet member for regeneration, said: “Offences such as these are taken very seriously.

“We have a duty to enforce licensing laws and protect public safety.

“The vast majority of traders operate legally.

“But this case’s outcome sends out a clear message to those who are tempted to break the law.”