Hartlepool shop temporarily closes amid bootleg tobacco investigation

A shop has been order to shut temporarily as part of an investigation into the alleged sale of bootleg tobacco.

Tuesday, 7th December 2021, 4:25 pm

Signs have been placed in the windows of the International Food Store, in Murray Street, Hartlepool, outlining the terms of the closure.

The temporary shutdown follows an inquiry by Hartlepool Borough Council and Cleveland Police.

The council said in a statement on Tuesday that the “shop has been ordered to close by magistrates following an application by Hartlepool Borough Council”.

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The International Food Store, in Murray Street, Hartlepool.

It added: “At a hearing on Friday, 3 December, Teesside Magistrates’ Court was told that the council's trading standards department had made a number of test purchases of counterfeit tobacco from the International Food Store, 45 Murray Street, Hartlepool, and that two operations conducted by trading standards and Cleveland Police using a sniffer dog also found illicit tobacco on the premises.

“A temporary closure order was granted under the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014 pending a full hearing on Wednesday, 15 December.”

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A sign placed in the window at the International Food Store, in Murray Street, Hartlepool