A Wolverhampton shop found to be selling illicit cigarettes and hand rolling tobacco despite a previous warning has had its premises licence revoked by the city council.

Members of the council’s licensing sub committee agreed to revoke the licence for Salvo’s Convenience in Parkfield Road at a meeting yesterday (Tuesday 29 September).

Trading Standards had called for a review of the licence after an initial visit in February when a packet of 20 Richmond cigarettes, which were believed to be illicit, were sold to a test purchaser for £4.

A follow up visit was made in March by Trading Standards Officers, a tobacco detection dog and West Midlands Police. 

During this visit they discovered illegal tobacco products including suspected illicit Richmond cigarettes. They also found Duty Free marked LIFA menthol cigarettes, hand rolling tobacco which bore foreign warning labels and cheap white Richman cigarettes, which is a foreign brand brought into the UK for sale on the black market without the correct duty having been paid.

Other issues included an open cigarette gantry exposing tobacco products for sale, contrary to the Tobacco Advertising and Promotion (Display) (England) Regulations 2010.

In addition, Sildamax Sildenafil Citrate 100mg tablets, pharmacy controlled drugs used to treat erectile disfunction, were discovered behind the counter. The sale of such tablets by the premises is a breach of the Human Medicines Regulations 2012. A van outside the shop was found to contain a further 1,160 ‘Duty Free Only’ cigarette sticks and 329 Sildamax Sildenafil Citrate 100mg tablets.

In making its decision to revoke the premises license, the sub committee also heard that there had been a previous warning given to the store in February 2015 following a seizure of illicit tobacco products from the premises.

Previous owner Angelo Salvo told the hearing that he had sold the business in August. He said he did not have the money to fix the tobacco gantry and had attempted to cover the cigarettes with black bin liners. 

Mr Salvo did accept that he had sold some illicit tobacco, but said that it was mostly for personal use and that of his family who all smoke. 

Councillor Alan Bolshaw, chair of the licensing sub committee, said: “The licensing sub committee are satisfied that Mr Salvo has failed to uphold the licensing objective of crime and disorder. Therefore, it has been determined that the premises licence be revoked. 

“Selling and supplying illicit cigarettes and tobacco products is a serious crime that not only robs the public purse of much needed revenue, but also poses an often overlooked threat to public health.”