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Shop inspections uncovers illegal cigarettes and prescription only medication

Sun 21 Apr 2024
Ealing Council's licensing compliance team and police officers from the Southall ward team visited Best Food & Wine (Bally Express) on 3rd January 2024.

They found a large number of illicit items including counterfeit and non-duty paid cigarettes, RYO tobacco and prescription only medication. Some of the prescription only medication was highly addictive and the premises was not licensed to sell any such drugs. The unpaid duty amounted to over £3,600.

Ealing Council’s licensing sub-committee, having considered the written and verbal representations, decided, on 17 April 2024 to revoke the premises license for Best Food & Wine, also known as Bally Express on Dudley Road, Southall.


The licensing panel noted that the premises had not made any representation, nor had turned up to this hearing, even though they had been sent due notice of the hearing on the 4th of April 2024 and they had the agenda papers. They were contacted on the hearing day but still did not turn up.

The licensing panel also took into consideration the previous review in January 2020, where similar breaches had occurred in 2019, particularly of the crime and disorder licensing objectives.

Following this, there was a deterioration in behaviour, leading to involvement in counterfeit prescription drugs and non-duty paid cigarettes. This indicated a continued failure to meet the crime and disorder licensing objective.


It was also unclear whether the conditions imposed on the premises license following the last review, such as the recording of training and other records, were being implemented.

The panel noted that the premises license holder, who serves as the DPS, failed to engage and demonstrated disregard for both the licensing objectives and the previously imposed conditions on the premises license.

Furthermore, he had failed to engage with any of the responsible authorities in this instance.

Goods with unpaid duty exceeding £1,200 were seized by officers on Friday, 26th July 2019. On Tuesday, 3rd September 2019, officers discovered non-compliance with licensing laws. As a result, on 28th January 2020, a three-month suspension of the shop's license was imposed.

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