Spalding off-licence permit bid fails after Baltic bust

South Holland District Council news.

South Holland District Council news.

  • Licensee of VIP Alcohol suspected of being a ‘front’ for criminality
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A tougher line on alcohol licences in Spalding has claimed another victim after a shop had its application rejected by district councillors.

During a hearing on Friday, Zarid Limalia’s bid for a premises licence at VIP Alcohol in Winsover Road was refused by South Holland District Council after he was linked to two other shops in Spalding where illegal cigarettes were found.

We sought answers from Mr Limalia about any possible links to persons connected with the nearby shops, Baltic and Winsover, which had recently had their off-licences revoked

PC John Evans, Lincolnshire Police alcohol licensing team

Mr Limalia (19), of Magnus Road, Leicester, had applied for the right to sell beers, wines and spirits at VIP Alcohol for 14 hours a day, seven days a week, Monday to Sunday.

But Lincolnshire Police had challenged the application based on suspicions that Mr Limalia would be a “front” for traders suspected of selling illegal cigarettes at both the Baltic and Winsover Off-Licences in Spalding.

A report for the hearing by Police Constable John Evans, of Lincolnshire Police’s alcohol licensing team, said: “During a meeting with Mr Limalia on Thursday, September 15, he spoke about his experience of working in a shop.

“He also spoke about his current (loss-making) hair salon business, his financing of the proposed off-licence and other matters.

“We sought answers from Mr Limalia about any possible links to persons connected with the nearby shops, Baltic and Winsover, which had recently had their off-licences revoked.”

PC Evans said that Mr Limalia had assured them there was no connection between himself and Karwan Ahmad, licence holder for both Baltic and Winsover which had their right to sell alcohol revoked in February.

Almost 12,000 smuggled cigarettes were found at Baltic alone during a raid by police and trading standards officers last December.

Mr Limalia had pledged to train his staff on the licencing laws, install CCTV cameras and keep a record of attempted alcohol sales to under-18s.

But the council’s licensing panel said: “The police held the strong view that the applicant had been put forward as a front by others previously known to the authorities for the sale or supply of smuggled goods.”

“The panel was more than satisfied that the material provided by the police, and the lack of satisfactory explanations from the applicant that he has links to the Baltic store, meant the only option was to reject the application.”