A shopkeeper who was caught with more than £7,000 of smuggled cigarettes has been stripped of his licence to sell alcohol.

Marian Nantu, who owns Pravalia de Acasa in Green Lanes, Palmers Green, will no longer be able to sell booze after the ruling by Enfield Council’s licensing sub-committee on Wednesday (November 6).

Police and customs officers seized more than 1,000 packets of contraband cigarettes on the premises – some of which were under a counter, ready to sell – during a crackdown on smuggled goods in August.

The total amount of tax evaded on the cigarettes was nearly £6,700.

Council enforcement officers subsequently visited the shop and found several of the conditions of the licence were being breached.

It was also revealed the licence had not been transferred from a previous holder – even though Mr Nantu had been running the shop since 2016.

Shortly after the cigarettes were found, an immediate request to transfer the licence to Marian and Mariana Nantu was lodged with the council.

But the Metropolitan Police objected to the transfer, arguing it would undermine the licensing objective of the prevention of crime and disorder.

A search of police records found Mr Nantu had previously been jailed for nine months “for a crime involving fraudulent activity”.

A police licensing officer told the meeting: “The police do not have confidence that Mr Nantu will adhere to lawful regulations.”

Mr Nantu said he was “so sorry” for his actions – but under questioning from the police officer, he admitted he knew it would be illegal to sell the cigarettes.

After retiring to consider the evidence, chairman Cllr Chris Bond (Labour, Southbury) announced the committee had decided to refuse the transfer application and revoke the premises licence.

It means the shop can remain open but will be unable to sell alcohol.

The police officer said during the meeting that a prosecution case against Mr Nantu over the smuggled cigarettes is ongoing.