Raided shop’s licences could be revoked after the discovery of smuggled goods

Two Boston grocery stores could see their licences revoked after smuggled tobacco and alcohol were found hidden inside both premises.

Boston Borough Council’s licensing sub-committee will meet today (Wednesday) to review the licences for Boston Wine and Food Centre, in 42-44 High Street, and Central Food and Wine, in 20, West Street.

The reviews follow raids carried out by by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) at both premises on July 18.

Trading Standards and police with a sniffer dog entered Boston Food and Wine Centre and found quantities of smuggled alcohol and tobacco.

The tobacco products were said to have been ‘concealed in a secret compartment in the floor behind the counter’.

A similar raid was carried out at Central Food and Wine, where smuggled spirits and tobacco were also seized.

The tobacco had been stashed in ‘secret hides’ around the shop.

Counterfeit tobacco products were also found in both stores.

The new licensee of Boston Food and Wine Centre has confirmed he was not in charge of the premises when the raid was carried out, having not taken over until August.

The Central Food and Wine licence holder told The Standard he was waiting for the outcome of the review before commenting.

If the licences are revoked, both will have 21 days to appeal.