Weston businessman awaiting court sentence for selling illegal tobacco

Eurozone Market, Meadow Street, Weston-s-Mare.

Eurozone Market, Meadow Street, Weston-s-Mare. - Credit: Archant

A Weston businessman who sold alcohol without paying duty and counterfeit tobacco has had his licence revoked, and will be handed a court sentence next month.

Ari Omar Abdulla had held the premises licence for Euro Zone Market, in Meadow Street, but North Somerset Council has torn it up after concerns were raised by North Somerset Trading Standards and Avon and Somerset Constabulary.

The council deemed Abdulla was not fit to hold a licence to sell alcohol ahead of court proceedings at the end of last week.

Abdulla, of Yardbury Way in Weston, also appeared in the dock on Friday for charges relating to the sale of illegal tobacco following a raid in September.

The 37-year-old pleaded guilty to 15 trading standards offences at North Somerset Courthouse in Worle, and will be sentenced on August 22.

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It is the second time he has been convicted for selling illegal products when he ran Euro Zone Market, after being caught by a multi-agency sting in 2014.

A last-ditch attempt to transfer the licence to Mustafa Bestoon, who has owned the business since October, was considered by the council’s sub-licensing committee on July 2.

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However, this was refused after the police argued he was not a ‘fit and responsible person’.

The following day, the three-councillor committee of Ann Harley, James Clayton and James Tonkin agreed to withdraw the premise’s licence because ‘the history of the business, together with recent allegations, was so serious revocation was necessary’, according to council documents.

Euro Zone Market will no longer be able to sell alcohol as a result of the council’s ruling.

Ahead of the hearings, North Somerset’s substance misuse manager Ted Sherman called for the licence to be withdrawn.

He said: “The sale of counterfeit tobacco is both hampering initiatives to reduce the number of the local population who take up or continue to smoke, and is increasing the risk to the health of individuals who consume these products.

“The low cost of these products is likely to make them more appealing and more available to children – the use of these products will place children at a greater risk of experiencing poor health outcomes.”

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