Under-age sales and illegal tobacco costs former Elm Park retailer thousands of pounds

Elm Park Express on Elm Park Avenue in Havering

Elm Park Express on Elm Park Avenue in Havering - Credit: Archant

​Senior staff and the company that owned a convenience store will have to pay out thousands of pounds for offences including the under-age sale of alcohol and possessing counterfeit tobacco.

Berta Sarikaya, premises licence holder of Kotan Supermarket, which traded as Elm Park Express, Broadway Parade, Elm Park, pleaded guilty to keeping smuggled goods and selling alcohol to people under the age of 18 at Barkingside Magistrates Court.

She was fined £315 for each offence, on top of costs and a victim surcharge, amounting to a total of £1,190.

Hasan Ltd, the company that owned the business, was also prosecuted last month for possessing counterfeit tobacco products and supplying them without safety warnings in English.

The company will have to pay £2,853 made up of fines, court costs and a victim surcharge.

Havering Trading Standards officers were initially concerned of the under-age sale of alcohol in 2014 and it was on their return to the premises that they found a quantity of foreign labelled cigarettes, blunts and rolling tobacco under the counter.

The premises also had its licence revoked following a review hearing last year.

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Cllr Osman Dervish, cabinet member for regulatory services, said: “We are determined to keep Havering residents safe from traders who break the law.

“This case has taken some time to get to court but the end result has been worthwhile with significant fines and costs awarded by the court as well as the destruction of the illegal tobacco.

“Losing its licence also meant a loss of income for the business.

“The message to retailers is a clear one – stay on the right side of the law or face the consequences.”

Caner Cocelli, designated premises supervisor at Elm Park Express, was prosecuted last year in relation to smuggled goods, underage sale of alcohol and for foreign labelled cigarettes.

He was ordered to pay a total of £3,320.

The premises has been taken over by a new owner and has been granted a licence.