Drugs hidden in tuna tin and crisp display at Edinburgh shop

A convenience shop has been stripped of its licence to sell alcohol after the city’s licensing board was told drugs were hidden in a tin of tuna and in crisp displays.

Wednesday, 3rd April 2019, 1:10 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd April 2019, 1:13 pm

The Capital’s licensing board revoked Fountain News’ premises licence after Police Scotland called for it to be reviewed.

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Officers told the board drugs had been stashed in an empty bottle in a crisp display stand in the Dundee Street shop – as well as a tuna tin.

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Drugs were hidden in tins of tuna at Fountain News, Dundee Street. Picture: TSPL

It was claimed staff deleted CCTV of alcohol being sold to girls under 18.

Sergeant John Young from Edinburgh division’s licensing department highlighted the force’s “significant concerns regarding poor management” and the supply of controlled drugs from within the store.

The board heard about an incident in December 2017, when officers raided the shop with a misuse of drugs warrant.

Controlled drugs were found “concealed under a small display stand”, hidden in an empty bottle and also in a small tuna pot.

A significant amount of cash was also seized by officers.

In February 2019, the licence-holder’s son, Umar Afzal, was jailed for 11 months for selling cannabis from the shop.

In May 2018, two females under the age of 18 entered the store and purchased alcohol unchallenged for identification by staff. This led to the mother of one of the girls calling the police. Officers investigating the incident discovered that CCTV footage of the incident had been deleted “with no explanation”.

Sergeant Young added: “Given the repeated and serious nature of the offences that has demonstrated a complete disregard for the licensing objectives combined with an apparent collusion by family members and lack of personal responsibility, I would press that the licensing board takes such steps as necessary.”

Councillors unanimously agreed to revoke the premises’ licence, meaning alcohol can no longer be sold from the shop.

Licensing board convener, Cllr Norman Work, said: “I’m certainly concerned our licensing standards officers went to the premises and they were selling after hours. Then they go back the next day and they are still selling after hours. I really do find that incredible.”