Traders caught selling alcohol to under-16s in council sting

Traders selling alcohol and tobacco to under-18s have faced a tough crackdown by Tower Hamlets Council as Trading Standards mount a campaign to stop rogue traders selling dangerous products to children.

Environmental Health and Trading Standards officers sent underage volunteers into 68 businesses to purchase tobacco and alcoholic drinks.

Of 31 traders who sell cigarettes, a total of four sold products to an underage test purchaser.

It was also found that four out of 18 shops sold alcohol to minors.

In addition, eight out of 19 shops selling chewing tobacco were happy to supply minors.

Councillor Shiria Khatun, cabinet member for Community Safety said: “Our Trading Standards officers work hard to stop products intended for consumption by adults being made available to young people. All businesses in the borough have a responsibility to ensure that they obey the law.”

The Licensing Act and the Children and Young Persons Act is designed to protect the health of minors.

The Council hopes the successful prosecution of one rogue trader will act as a warning to others.

Sumsu Zzuha, 33, Shadwell, licensee of the E2 Minimarket on Bethnal Green Road, was fined £1,426 after breaking the law, when WKD was sold to a 14-year-old volunteer in his shop in March.

The Council continued to pile on the pressure as they followed up after the successful prosecution.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, warned other rogue traders of the Council’s determination to stamp-out the sale of alcohol and tobacco to minors.

Biggs said: “Selling these products to people under the age of 18 is a serious offence. We hope this latest successful operation by our officers will actas a deterrent to those who feel they can operate above the law.”

Readers are urged to report traders who sell alcohol and cigarettes to children toEnvironmental Health and Trading Standards: 020 7364 5008 or

Leave a Reply