Customs officers seize Harrow's biggest ever booze haul from Wealdstone off-licences

A customs officer removing some of the untaxed alcohol

A customs officer removing some of the untaxed alcohol

First published in News
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Tens of thousands of pounds worth of illegally imported alcohol was seized in what police have described as Harrow’s biggest ever booze haul.

Officers from HM Revenue and Customs raided four off-licences in Wealdstone town centre, where they found hundreds of crates of untaxed spirits, beer, cider and wine.

Such was the size of the seizure, a lorry had to be ordered to remove the vast quantities of drink, which included at least one shop’s entire stock.

Stores targeted included Super and Harrow Food and Wine in High Street, as well as Pillayar Food and Wine and Harrow and Wealdstone Food and Wine in Masons Avenue.

The seizures were part of a day of operations run by Harrow Police, London Fire Brigade, Harrow Council and HM Revenue and Customs.

Sergeant Simon Fretwell, who organises the monthly operations across the borough, said: “It does give you a buzz when you get a haul like this.

“This is what we’re here for and it is quite satisfying when you get results like this.”

The alcohol will likely be poured away once it has been checked by customs officials after its removal.

Today’s action day included trading standards checks on licensed premises, clean ups in flytipping hot spots, automatic number plate recognition operations and fire safety checks in businesses and public buildings.

Sergeant Fretwell said: “It’s important because there are other businesses legitimately paying their duty and taxes on alcohol and it’s unfair when others make a massive profit on drink that is not even supposed to be in the country.”

Police are also keeping an eye out for weapons stashed by the Greyset Gang, which was at one time named among the top 20 of London’s most notorious gangs.

Sergeant Fretwell added: “Things are not as bad as they used to be but it is about monitoring these gangs and staying on top of them.”

A total of 23 police officers and four sergeants, as well as around 20 council staff will be carrying out checks and clean-ups in the town centre.

Sergeant Fretwell said: “It is about cleaning up the area and making it safer – if we didn’t carry out these operations, things would only get worse.

“We’re all here at the same time so we can tackle these problems today and get things sorted – it’s a very productive way of policing.”

Comments (6)

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6:42pm Tue 6 May 14

Sonoo Malkani says...

This is exactly what the public want to see.Excellent partnership working and outstanding results.Sgt Fretwell seems to be well on top of his patch and knows what he wants.

It's naturally very pleasing for the Borough Commanders of Harrow Police and Fire Brigade along with Council officials and staff from HM Revenue and Customs to nab those breaking the law and sends out a powerful message to those with similar plans to watch their backs since they are not welcome in Harrow.

Re-assuring to know the Town Centre is being monitored like-wise.Great policing and team-work worth emulating.What a result!Well done all.
This is exactly what the public want to see.Excellent partnership working and outstanding results.Sgt Fretwell seems to be well on top of his patch and knows what he wants. It's naturally very pleasing for the Borough Commanders of Harrow Police and Fire Brigade along with Council officials and staff from HM Revenue and Customs to nab those breaking the law and sends out a powerful message to those with similar plans to watch their backs since they are not welcome in Harrow. Re-assuring to know the Town Centre is being monitored like-wise.Great policing and team-work worth emulating.What a result!Well done all. Sonoo Malkani
  • Score: -5

6:47pm Tue 6 May 14

jackdaw says...

Good work by all agencies concerned. I hope those premises selling untaxed booze are fined heavily. It is unfair competition to those shops that abide by the rules.

These action days are a very good idea.
Good work by all agencies concerned. I hope those premises selling untaxed booze are fined heavily. It is unfair competition to those shops that abide by the rules. These action days are a very good idea. jackdaw
  • Score: 6

3:02am Thu 8 May 14

diligaf says...

Shame it wasnt done more often in Wealdstone, and it just goes to show what a dump it always has and always will be .... and as for the grey set gang,,,, good to let them know through this that they are one of the top 10 gangs in London... well done met police ...
Shame it wasnt done more often in Wealdstone, and it just goes to show what a dump it always has and always will be .... and as for the grey set gang,,,, good to let them know through this that they are one of the top 10 gangs in London... well done met police ... diligaf
  • Score: 7

4:13pm Thu 8 May 14

Sonoo Malkani says...

The reporter has stated that the Greyset Gang was ONCE among the top 20 notorious gangs in London.Harrow Police have NOT said so and were doing their duty looking out for any weapons stashed by this lot.No point slagging them off!

These Days of Action have RESOURCE IMPLICATIONS as they are done in PARTNERSHIP and have to be rationed ,primarily for this reason.Surely,we cannot expect a huge amount of policing resources to be ear-marked only for Wealdstone when there is a WHOLE BOROUGH to police.Not at all practical or feasible.
The reporter has stated that the Greyset Gang was ONCE among the top 20 notorious gangs in London.Harrow Police have NOT said so and were doing their duty looking out for any weapons stashed by this lot.No point slagging them off! These Days of Action have RESOURCE IMPLICATIONS as they are done in PARTNERSHIP and have to be rationed ,primarily for this reason.Surely,we cannot expect a huge amount of policing resources to be ear-marked only for Wealdstone when there is a WHOLE BOROUGH to police.Not at all practical or feasible. Sonoo Malkani
  • Score: -7

7:15am Mon 12 May 14

surfnutt says...

So these Wealdstone hoodies have a name now "Greyset gang" well i must admit i have never heard of them so they cant be that notorious and by the look of them they are just a bunch of losers dirty clothes and cheap trainers these little boys need to grow up and be men get a job earn their money oh cheers previous goverments for allowing this to happen through uncontrolled immigration and asylum seekers children now bringing this to our streets thanks a bunch
So these Wealdstone hoodies have a name now "Greyset gang" well i must admit i have never heard of them so they cant be that notorious and by the look of them they are just a bunch of losers dirty clothes and cheap trainers these little boys need to grow up and be men get a job earn their money oh cheers previous goverments for allowing this to happen through uncontrolled immigration and asylum seekers children now bringing this to our streets thanks a bunch surfnutt
  • Score: 5

7:12am Tue 13 May 14

diligaf says...

surfnutt... Well said... you get my vote :)
surfnutt... Well said... you get my vote :) diligaf
  • Score: 1

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