Businessman fails in bid to have alcohol licence reinstated

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The director of a Bognor Regis business has unsuccessfully appealed against the removal of his alcohol licence after a series of investigations by West Sussex County Council’s Trading Standards Service.

Worthing Magistrates’ Court upheld a decision to revoke the alcohol licence of Mr Barzan Aubid, the Sole Director and Operator of Baltic Bognor Ltd, located at 3 Richmond Road, Bognor Regis, at a hearing on 3 January 2024. Mr Aubid's licence was initially revoked in December 2022.

West Sussex Trading Standards had carried out a number of inspections of Baltic Bognor Ltd dating back to 2017 and uncovered a number of illegal goods including counterfeit cigarettes, vapes which exceeded the legal nicotine limit, and a number of products such as vodka with non-compliant labelling.

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Barzan Aubid had previously pleaded guilty at Worthing Magistrates’ Court after illegal cigarettes were found on the premises by Trading Standards officers in September 2018 when he received a fine plus costs.

The application has been refused. Photo: Pxabay.The application has been refused. Photo: Pxabay.
The application has been refused. Photo: Pxabay.

On 22 December 2023 he also pleaded guilty at Portsmouth Crown Court to similar offences relating to illicit cigarettes sold from his premises in January 2022. Sentencing is due to take place on 15 March 2024 for these later offences.

Worthing Magistrates’ Court, after reviewing detailed arguments, dismissed Mr Aubid's appeal and awarded full costs of approximately £1,660 to Arun District Council as the licensing authority. As a result, Mr Aubid is now prohibited from selling alcohol.

West Sussex Trading Standards worked with West Sussex County Council Public Health, Sussex Police, and Arun District Council on this case as part of an initiative to address safety concerns related to the illegal tobacco market.

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Cllr Duncan Crow, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Community Support, Fire and Rescue, said: “Illegal tobacco is a serious concern to public health, and taking steps to eradicate it from the county forms an important element of Our Council Plan and our priority to keep people safe.

“Counterfeit cigarettes can contain a wide range of hazardous substances and we would discourage anybody from buying any seemingly bargain-priced tobacco.”

Cllr Billy Blanchard Cooper, Arun District Council Licensing Committee Chair, said: “It is reassuring that the court has upheld the decision of Arun’s Licensing Sub-Committee to revoke the licence for this premises, following application for Review.

“The Licensing Act 2003 contains important powers available to Responsible Authorities including the Police, Trading Standards and Environmental Health as well as the public, to request review of premises licences, and is a key protection for the community where problems associated with the licensing objectives occur.”

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Residents are encouraged to report any suspicious activity related to the sale of illegal tobacco and vapes directly to Trading Standards via:

Anyone needing help to give up smoking can find out more by visiting