Theft claim in booze store sting

STEVE HOPKINS
Last updated 05:00 14/11/2012

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A liquor store and its manager, busted selling booze to under-agers three times within two months, have had their liquor licences cancelled.

In a recent Liquor Licensing Authority decision, Pakuranga's Thirsty Liquor had its off-licence cancelled and general manager and lone shareholder, Ming Zhao, had his general manager's certificate revoked.
 
According to the decision, on 12 July a 16-year-old was able to buy a four pack of RTD's from Zhao during a controlled purchase sting without identification.

When police confronted Zhao he claimed the teenager had stolen the booze. When told she entered with $20 and came out with the exact change, Zhao then claimed she had left the note at the counter and had stolen his change.
 
Two months earlier both Zhao and the store had also been caught out during another controlled purchase. When authorities went to see Zhao, the named manager on duty that day, he wasn't present. As a result Thirsty Liquor lost its licence for six days, and Zhao his own for six weeks.

The authority said the three controlled purchase failures within two months showed the "licensee and duty manager are persistently flouting" the laws.

Zhao's lies about the teenager were further proof of his lack of suitability, the authority found, as were his non-attendance at the authority hearing: "there are no redeeming features."

In another recent authority decision Sky Restaurant and Karaoke had their on-licence suspended for 10 days starting Thursday.
 
It was noted that the premises were problematic and when their licence comes up for renewal in February, it will be "scrutinised with great care".

During one visit from police to the Kitchener St venue, two intoxicated males had vomited in front of officers. The venue has twice had its licence suspended in previous years.

The authority also suspended the off-licence for Clendon Super Liquor, Manurewa, for 48 hours and the general manager certificates of Sun Ming Yan, Susan Watson and Gurmail Singh for three weeks, after alcohol was sold to a minor.

Sharland Liquor and its general manager Paramjit Sing also had their licences suspended recently for a selling to a minor during a police sting.
 
The Vault bar on Lorne St had its on-licence suspended for five days and its general manager, Yujia Cao, lost her general manager's certificate for four weeks after selling alcohol to two minors and having an "extremely intoxicated" female on site during a routine compliance check.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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