Police 'concerns' over Wakefield city centre off licence with history of selling illegal cigarettes

Kubus was found to be selling illegal cigarettes at 2.80 a packet to customers last year.
Kubus was found to be selling illegal cigarettes at 2.80 a packet to customers last year.

Police say they are concerned about the business of a city centre off licence, which was previously found to be selling illicit cigarettes.

Kubus, on Kirkgate in Wakefield city centre, had a stash of foreign tobacco it was selling to customers at £2.80 a packet, before police rumbled the illegal scheme last year.

Mr Srud appealed the decision to strip him of his licence, and the case will now go to Leeds Magistrates Court.

Mr Srud appealed the decision to strip him of his licence, and the case will now go to Leeds Magistrates Court.

Manager Srud Amer denied any knowledge of the activity and blamed it on a rogue member of staff at a hearing last December, but he was stripped of his licence to sell alcohol at the store by Wakefield Council.

Mr Srud subsequently appealed the ruling, and the case will now be heard at Leeds Magistrates Court in August.

But in papers released ahead of another council licensing hearing next week, West Yorkshire Police has suggested that Mr Srud is trying to "avoid proceedings" at court, after it emerged that an application has been made to transfer Kubus' licence to another person, Ibrahimi Ali Abdulla.

The hearing, which takes place next Wednesday, will determine whether or not Mr Ibrahimi can become the licence holder.

But in their written objection to this, police said they were worried Mr Srud would still be the "designated premises supervisor", which means he would still be in charge of the day-to-day running of the shop.

They said: "Police have concerns that the transfer is merely an attempt to avoid proceedings at the Magistrates Court in relation to the appeal following revocation of the premises license, and that Srud Amer will remain the controlling mind behind the business.

"Mr Ibrahimi has stated Mr Srud will remain at the business for four months after the transfer and he will be retaining the same staff.

"Police have concerns as Mr Srud and his staff were all involved in the sales of illicit cigarettes."

In the papers, officers said that Mr Ibrahimi told them he had no knowledge that the alcohol licence had been revoked, pending appeal, and that he'd been recommended the business by a friend of Mr Srud.

He also told them his previous work included time working on a shop till and as a chef.

The papers added: "Police are concerned Mr Ibrahimi had made no enquiries about the business prior to engaging in this transfer."

The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) approached Kubus on Wednesday morning for a response to the police's comments.

Local Democracy Reporting Service