8,000 illicit cigarettes found at off-licence 'favoured by street drinkers and beggars'

Tyskie sits on Kirkgate, in Wakefield.
Tyskie sits on Kirkgate, in Wakefield.

Thousands of illicit cigarettes have been found at an off-licence which police say is "favoured by street drinkers and beggars".

Tyskie, on Kirkgate in Wakefield city centre, may lose its licence to sell alcohol, following the discovery by officers.

Officers and Trading Standards searched the store on September 21 this year, after it failed two test purchases, police papers said.

They found the store's licence holder carrying a bag with 4,500 illegal cigarettes and several pouches of illicit tobacco at the back of the premises.

A further 3,500 had already been found in a "concealed compartment" in a storeroom.

Police have now recommended that Tyskie be stripped of its alcohol licence. A hearing will take place on November 15 to determine whether or not that will happen.

In the papers, released ahead of the hearing, PC Toby Warden said: "This is not the first time this premises has come to the attention of the police licensing department.

"In October 2018, local neighbourhood policing team identified the premises as one favoured by street drinkers and beggars.

"Examination has also identified further offences of serious breaches of UK law, in the form of sales of illicit tobacco.

"The sale of illegal/foreign label cigarettes is classed as serious organised crime with tax evasion obviously having being committed."

Police also said they'd found the premises was "abstracting electricity", with power being diverted away from the store's meter.

Local Democracy Reporting Service