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Bottle shop forced to close doors

DUBBY HENRY
Last updated 05:00 26/02/2014

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A lapse of attention has forced a liquor store to shut its doors for good.

Supreme Liquor Takanini has lost its licence to sell alcohol after a history of being caught selling to under-18s.

Owners Sarvdeep Singh Suri and Maninder Kaur Suri own three liquor stores in Papakura, which between them have failed five controlled police purchase operations since 2009.

The final straw was a controlled operation at the Takanini store in July last year, when a 17-year-old bought a four-pack of vodka RTDs without being asked for age or identification.

In his decision to cancel the store's liquor licence Judge John Hole said Mr and Mrs Suri were "overstretched" running three stores in Papakura.

The decision, released last week after a hearing in the Manukau District Court in December, means the shop's doors must close on Saturday.

Changes had been made but it was a case of "too little too late", Judge Hole said.

"The problems with this store have existed for several years and it is only in the last fortnight prior to the hearing that any attempt at affecting improvements has been made."

The pair admitted they did not have the systems in place to ensure staff were complying with the law, he said.

Mr Suri pointed out his Elliot St liquor store had not failed any operations and suggested that was because he spent most of his time there.

District licensing agency inspector June Walden said she was concerned at the number of failures in such a low socio-economic area. A nearby store had also failed four controlled purchase operations.

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- Papakura Courier

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