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Dagenham shop caught selling smuggled goods

A Dagenham shop owner and manager have been ordered to pay more than £11,000 for smuggling goods and selling alcohol to a minor.

Owner of Oltenia on Broad Street, 44-year-old Soren Holder has been fined £2,000, while the store’s manager Cerasella Holder was fined £3,000.

They were caught on 25 May last year when officers from Barking and Dagenham’s Trading Standards team visited the premises as part of a planned test purchase operation and attempted to buy alcohol as an under age child.

The off-licence sold a bottle of alcohol with ABV of 14% to a 16-year-old volunteer working with the team.

They have also been ordered to pay £1,000 for smuggled alcohol and tobacco, £3,000 for plain packaging offences and costs awarded to the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham with both paying £1,090 and £170 victim surcharge each.

During another visit on 8 June, officers discovered over 14,000 cigarettes without plain packaging and with non-English safety warnings. Bottles of spirits were also found without UK duty stamps.

The shop has now had its licence revoked.

Councillor Margaret Mullane, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety, said: “We don’t want to be handing out hefty fines or stripping local businesses of their licenses. We want businesses to be responsible and act in a lawful manner so our residents are not at risk.”

Anyone with concerns about shops selling illicit goods or items to people under age can contact Trading Standards at tradingstandards@lbbd.gov.uk


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