Cannonbury off licence banned from selling alcohol

An off-licence has been banned from selling booze after it was caught selling smuggled wine and spirits.

Canonbury Food and Wine in St Paul’s Road, Canonbury, had its licence revoked by Islington Council on Tuesday last week.

Tax and trading standards officers seized 227 bottles of wine and 32 litres of vodka and whisky in February.

The council said �671 of duty had been evaded.

Cllr Wally Burgess (Labour), who chaired the licensing review, said: “They could not produce any receipts for the alcohol. It’s sad that we had to take such strong action, but there was no option because they made a lot of mistakes. We don’t want to spoil anybody’s business, but they have broken the rules.”

The shop’s licence had been suspended for two weeks in November last year, after it was caught selling booze to underage teens.

This time, police called for it to be taken away once and for all.

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Sgt Robin Clark, Islington Police’s licensing officer, said: “It is well documented that there is a strong link between organised crime groups and the trade in counterfeit and smuggled goods and therefore this type of crime is also supporting other types of crime such as the drug trade, people trafficking and even terrorism.”

Manager Ayse Gunes, 24, said: “We’re not happy about it at all. Seventy to 80 per cent of our business is selling alcohol. We will be struggling to keep the store going now.

“The person that purchased the wine from the back of a van is no longer working here, and the spirits were bought from a cash and carry, who didn’t give us a receipt.

“They should have fined us rather than taking the licence away. Everyone deserves a second chance.”