THE owner of an off-licence which shut after a raid earlier this year, has lost his licence.

Ozgur Ak, who was convicted of selling illegally packaged cigarettes last week, has had his premises licence revoked following a council review.

This comes after illegal tobacco, 13 bottles of counterfeit vodka and snap bag of cannabis were found at Winter Hey Wines when authorities visited the Horwich store in March.

Mr Ak pleaded guilty to supplying 59 packets of cigarettes and 11 packets of Amber Leaf tobacco in illegally coloured packaging as well as 66 packets of cigarettes and 11 packets of tobacco which did not carry the legal health warning at Bolton Magistrates’ Court.

The 44-year-old offered to surrender the licence in September after he shut his shop but the council said he did not comply with the requirements of the relevant legislation.

Cllr Maureen Flitcroft chaired the committee which reviewed the licence at a town hall hearing yesterday – but Mr Ak did not attend the meeting.

She said: “[The sub-committee] resolved that having regard to licensing objectives, the circumstances of the offence and the subsequent conviction, the premises licence in relation to Winter Hey Wines being revoked on the grounds of the prevention of crime and disorder.”

Trading standards staff visited the property with a tobacco detection dog and officers from Greater Manchester Police earlier this year.

This took place just three months after the owner dismissed allegations that illicit cigarettes had been sold from his shop for £4 when he applied for a licence to sell alcohol.

Winter Hey Wines is now permanently closed.

Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Environmental Regulatory Services, Cllr Anne Galloway said: “This council has a zero-tolerance policy towards business owners who put the public at risk through the sale of illegal tobacco and other illicit items.

"Our trading standards team will take swift action against anyone suspected of being involved in this harmful practice.

“This case sends a message to other shop owners that the sale of illicit tobacco will not only result in a criminal record, but it will have serious repercussions for the future of your business.”