Bootleg warning issued

14 November, 2008

Drinks retailers should be on the look out for a growing amount of potentially lethal counterfeit spirits entering the UK market.

With Christmas looming and a worsening economic climate, the International Federation of Spirits Producers has issued a warning about increasing numbers of "dubious offers, often being sold from the back of white vans".

Director Philip Scatchard said: "The best advice we can give is don't buy from unknown sources, stick to your regular and reputable suppliers who can trace and prove the provenance of spirits bottles and don't expose your licen ce and reputation to risk."

The caution comes as a Croydon off-licence was fined £1,000 for selling fake bottles of Glen's and Kirov vodka, and Clipper cigarette lighters.

The counterfeit goods were seized from KK Food

& Wine in Sumner Road, West Croydon, by trading standards officers in August.

Owner Jeyakanthan Thieventirampillai pleaded guilty to both offences and was ordered by Croydon Crown Court to pay costs of around £5 ,000.

Last month a retailer in Cardiff, who had been caught by

Trading

Standards with 644 bottles of bootleg vodka, had his licence revoked by Cardiff Council's licensing sub-committee.

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