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Ribbleton shop faces licensing battle after illegal cigarette dealings uncovered

Posted on - 1st September, 2015 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Crime, Preston News, Ribbleton
The Cost Cutter shop stands on the corner of Ribbleton Lane and Skeffington Lane Pic: Google

The Cost Cutter shop stands on the corner of Ribbleton Lane and Skeffington Lane Pic: Google

A Ribbleton convenience store faces being stripped of its licence over allegations of sales of contraband cigarettes.

Preston Police have applied for a review of the licence held by Costcutter in Ribbleton Lane.

Mr Ali Soran, who took over running the shop in June, is alleged to be using it as a front for trading smuggled tobaco.

PC Julie Stewart from the licensing team at Lancashire Police has submitted evidence of a police and trading standards visit to the shop.

In it she describes how staff at the shop are told to take money for cigarettes, run it through a dedicated till, and direct customers to the car park with a ticket.

There a man waits with a vehicle full of cheap tobacco and sells these to the customers.

Preston City Council’s licensing committee will meet on Monday 7 September to decide what action the shop faces.

The shop is no longer affiliated with the Costcutter chain.

A spokesman for Costcutter Supermarkets Group said: “Despite having our name above the door the convenience store on Ribbleton Lane, Preston is independently owned and stopped being part of Costcutter Supermarkets Group some time ago.

“We have now accelerated the process of having the signage removed to ensure there is no further confusion in the future. However, this in no way affects the store owner’s ability to continue to own and operate his store independently of Costcutter and our brand.”

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