The second of two Sri Lankan brothers allegedly at the centre of an illicit booze “epidemic” in Wirral has been banned from selling alcohol.
Councillors revoked the licence held by the Poulton Pop-In in Seacombe after a police and trading standards raid in September last year uncovered 250 litres of untaxed spirits.
The corner shop, on Poulton Road, was alleged by police to have sold one-litre bottles of vodka that had been destined for export for as little as £5.99 (against an estimated £15 to £25).
Owner Saravanapavan Subenthiran had also employed an illegal immigrant – claiming he had been recommended to him by a man in a pizza shop in London.
The worker, who gave authorities a false name and passport, had been picked up from Lime Street station by Mr. Subenthiran the week before the raid.
A 14-month probe into illicit alcohol sales prompted raids at 17 off-licences in Wirral in July.
Among those was the Ten O’Clock Shop in Poulton Road, owned by Mr. Subenthiran’s brother, Sinnathamby, where seven suspected illegal immigrants were arrested and large quantities of non-duty paid wine, whisky and vodka were found.
Last month, councillors resolved to strip the premises of its alcohol permit.
At Wallasey Town Hall on Friday, police sergeant Pete Jenkins alleged at the licensing hearing that the brothers were “intrinsically linked” to suspected criminal activity.
A total of 276 bottles of duty-diverted vodka and whisky were found in Poulton Pop-In, as well as huge quantities in Mr. Subenthiran’s flat.
In relation to the illegal immigrant found working in his store, Mr. Subenthiran said he was recommended to him in a pizza shop when he went to visit his wife and children in London.
His solicitor, Christopher Murphy, said his client had no knowledge that the man was illegally in the UK.
After the hearing, Sergeant Jenkins said: “People involved in exploiting illegal immigrants and selling counterfeit and duty-diverted booze need to understand that we will find you.”
Mr. Subenthiran has 21 days to appeal. (Source: Heswall News)
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citizen Wednesday, 09 November 2011 09:49 AM
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