Caesars Bar closed after drugs bust

A HYDE bar, which was at the centre of a huge drugs operation, has had its licence revoked.

Caesars Bar, Hyde

Caesars Bar and Café at 37 Market Street was shut following a decision made by Tameside Council’s Speakers Panel (liquor Licensing) on March 21.

And Cllr David Sweeton, chair of liquor licensing, described it as “the right decision to take away the licence and a good result”.

Earlier this year Caesars Bar licence holder Sam O’Neill, 35, was jailed for a total of 19 years for a series of offences.

They were the production and supplying of controlled drugs as well as possessing a small firearm and ammunition.

The conviction was part of Operation Cosmetic, an investigation into the supply of drugs and firearms in the UK by an organised crime group primarily based in Manchester.

Their customers spanned many parts of the country – Sunderland, Middlesbrough, The Lake District, North Wales, West Yorkshire, Blackburn, Burnley, West Midlands and Kettering.

O’Neill was followed on a number of occasions to Caesars Bar, a property he was licence holder of.

The court heard on March 8, 2018 O’Neill was stopped on the M6 returning in a van from Slough.

In the rear was 30 kilos cocaine in shoe boxes.

Notice posted on the shutters of closed Caesars bar in hyde

When Caesars Bar was searched a further two-and-a-half kilos of cocaine was found along with half a kilo of heroin, almost one kilo of MDMA, scales, vacuum packing machines.

In total drugs with a street value of almost £2.8million were recovered by police.

Police added had the empty shoe boxes found in Caesars Bar contained cocaine like the ones recovered, they would have had a value of almost £2.4m.

Cllr Sweeton cannot see Caesars Bar reopening in the foreseeable future.

He said the police investigations are ongoing into whether it was purchased from the proceeds of crime.

If that were to be proven, Cllr Sweeton explained money from the sale of the building would be confiscated and the money put into the public purse.

Cllr Sweeton advocate investigations into the turnovers of bars, café and takeaways to see whether they have been gained from the proceeds of crime.

Since becoming chair of liquor licensing last May, Cllr Sweeton has been working on forming a cumulative impact policy which would regulate the number of bars, café and takeaways in an area.

Cllr Sweeton added this should help reduce violence, anti-social behaviour and crime as well as helping in the fight against obesity.

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