A Brighton convenience store has had its licence suspended for three months after being caught selling fake Jacob’s Creek wine.
Whisky and vodka was also seized from the Corner Shop, in Upper North Street, for non-payment of duty.
The store is run by Nadheera Chandramohan, who attended a Brighton and Hove City Council licensing panel sitting at Brighton Town Hall yesterday (Friday 2 September).
Councillor Dee Simson, chairman of the panel, said: “The panel seriously considered revocation because of the serious nature of the breaches of the licensing conditions.”
She said that the panel had taken into account the steps taken since to ensure that there were no further problems.
Councillor Lizzie Deane, chairman of the council’s licensing committee, said: “Licensees agree to uphold the city’s licensing policy objectives which include preventing crime and disorder.
“Trading in counterfeit alcohol and non-payment of duty is a criminal activity and has risks to public health because of the chemicals used.
“Therefore we have no hesitation in immediately revoking or suspending licences where we discover this kind of operation.
“Not only that but those who trade in goods where duty has not been paid have an unfair trading advantage over other businesses and this has an impact on the local economy.”
They are undertaking joint visits to licensed premises and will seize any illegal alcohol found.
The bottles of the offending spirit, branded Arctic Ice Vodka, do not have a lot code or a name and address for the producer.
John Peerless, head of trading standards in Brighton and Hove, said: “We want to reassure people that there shouldn’t be any harmful effects if the vodka has been drunk but would advise anybody who has already bought this brand to dispose of any remaining vodka.”
He said that any businesses trading in the illegal vodka risk prosecution with a resulting fine and individuals faces the loss of their personal licence and a criminal record.
The council could also review the premises licence and may revoke or suspend it.
Any businesses with Arctic Ice Vodka in stock are advised to contact trading standards through Consumer Direct for further advice.
Anyone who is concerned that they may have bought or have been offered any Arctic Ice Vodka or any other illegal alcohol should contact Consumer Direct on 0845 4040506.