Members of the licensing panel will meet next week to review the premises licence of a convenience store in Oldham following numerous cases of illicit tobacco and single cigarettes being sold.

Sunny News and Off Licence, on Oxford Street, Oldham, has been found to have sold illicit and counterfeit tobacco on six separate occasions between April 2014 and February 2021, along with other cases of selling single cigarettes and selling tobacco products to underage customers.

The application for the shop to lose its premises licence has been submitted by Oldham Council Trading Standards on the grounds of Prevention of Crime & Disorder, Public Safety and Protection of Children from Harm.

The review will be held on Tuesday, October 12 and will see Oldham Council's licensing panel of three councillors hear from both sides.

Despite letters being repeatedly sent to the premises between October 2019 to January 2021 notifying them of complaints, no answer was received and the shop continued to sell the illegal products, which were stored under the counter.

Riaz Ahmed, the premises licence holder and designated premises supervisor, and Mohammed Alam, a purported owner of the business, have been issued multiple warning letters, at least one of which Mr Ahmed is said to have acknowledged and signed in 2014.

READ MORE: Objections to premises licence application for Oldham shop after more than 22,000 illegal cigarettes found

Aside from selling counterfeit tobacco products, they are alleged to have split cigarette packets and sold them singly along with selling the products to customers under 18.

According to a survey carried out by Trading Standards North West, 14 per cent of 14-17-years-olds in the North West said they had purchased illegal cigarettes within the last 12 months. While 66 per cent of these illegal cigarettes were purchased in shops.

The illegal tobacco products are identifiable as they do not have the registered trade mark issued to tobacco products that can be legally sold in the UK and the writing is not in English.

They also do not contain the standardised packaging of products in the UK, which include warnings and images that aim to discourage people from smoking and encourage people to give up smoking.