Off-licence caught with fake DVDs and jewellery on premises
A day feared by students in the Fallowfield area has come, Gaff’s Off Licence can no longer sell alcohol.
The Fallowfield institution had its alcohol licence revoked last week after police discovered counterfeit goods on the premises.
Greater Manchester Police called for a review of Gaff’s license after they found 294 counterfeit DVDs and 14 pieces of counterfeit jewellery.
“In 2011 we executed a warrant at this premises as we believed that counterfeit jewellery and DVDs were being illegally sold there,” said Inspector Lindsay Atherton of the Fallowfield Neighbourhood Policing Team. “This led to a recent conviction in October 2012.”
Owner of Gaff’s Abdul Gaffor lodged an appeal in response to the conviction, but because the alcohol licence was in a different name the appeal became void and the licence was revoked on January 17, a spokesman for the Manchester City Council Licensing Authority said.
The original license holder, Mustafa Saleem, will not be able to apply for a new licence. However, a new application can be made for the same premises.
Gaff’s manager Asjed Iqbal told The Mancunion the licence revoking against them was a mistake.
“We were caught falsely with counterfeit DVDs,” he said. “A bag of counterfeit DVDs was left in our shop just for a moment by a local character known for selling fake DVDs, we didn’t know what was in the bag.
“At the same time the police came in on a raid for counterfeit goods.”
“Other shops in the area caught with counterfeit DVDs just get fined, this was a total miscarriage of justice towards Gaff’s.
“The police wanted any excuse to revoke our licence, they have it in for us.
“They tried to revoke our licence in November last year. The police just came in and said your licence doesn’t allow you to sell alcohol anymore, but they got their facts wrong. We had to take all our alcohol down, then put it back up again.”
Other reasons alcohol licences can be reviewed and revoked include selling to underage children or if there is fighting at a nightclub.
Councillor Nigel Murphy, Manchesteer City Council’s executive member for the environment, said “This decision demonstrates how the City Council works closely with the police to deal with those traders who use their premises as a base for carrying out illegal activities.
“We will not tolerate those who attempt to carry out illegal activities from licensed premises, and we will seek to use the range of powers available to us including, where appropriate. the ability to revoke licences.”
Iqbal assured customers that despite losing their licence Gaff’s would remain open, “We will continue to trade, just without alcohol, Gaff’s isn’t going anywhere.
“There will always be a Gaff’s.”