Indian-origin shop owners prosecuted for selling craft knife to teen in UK


London, June 12

The Indian-origin owners of a shop in an England town have been prosecuted for selling a craft knife to a 17-year-old in a test purchase operation conducted by a local council in 2022.

Balvinder Singh Chhokar and Rajinder Kaur, owners of Sandhu Convenience Store in Solihull town, pleaded guilty recently before the Birmingham Magistrates Court to the sale of an age-restricted product to a minor.

They were each fined 293 pounds, with 100 pounds towards costs and 175 pounds in victim surcharge -- a total of GBP568 per defendant.

The sale took place in October 2022 as part of a test purchase operation by the Solihull Council wherein a 17 year-old was sent as a decoy customer.

Rajinder Kaur, who was then at the shop, sold the knife without checking the knife packaging, which said "over 18 only".

"We are pleased with another successful prosecution for the unlawful sale of a knife in Solihull. These test purchase operations serve as an important and stark reminder for retailers to comply with their legal obligations," Councillor Wazma Qais, Cabinet Member for Communities & Leisure, said.

Last month, the council prosecuted another Asian shop owner, Navaratnam Oppilamani, for the sale of an age-restricted product to a minor.

He was fined 125 pounds, with 200 pounds towards costs and a 48 pound victim surcharge on May 16.

According to the UK law, it is illegal for anyone, including a shop, to sell a knife of any kind, including cutlery and kitchen knives, to anyone under the age of 18.

A series of Aunderage test purchases were carried out by the council in September and October 2022 at various shops across the Solihull borough. Of the 11 shops that were visited, four correctly challenged the volunteers and refused the sale, but four shops sold them knives, and three shops sold them alcohol.

When selling knives, alcohol, vapes and other restricted items to underage people, both the business and the person who physically made the sale can be held responsible, the Solihull Council said in a statement. In the case of alcohol, both the person who physically made the sale and the licensee can be held responsible.


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