Counterfeit vodka containing chemical usually found in cosmetics found in Wisbech shop

A WISBECH store could lose its licence after being caught selling counterfeit vodka- some of which contained a chemical usually found in cosmetics- and evading duty.

Wisbech Mini Market in Church Terrace faces calls by Cambridgeshire trading standards for its future to be considered for “breaches of the licensing objectives at the premises”.

Trading standards says apart from the sale of counterfeit Glen’s, Artic Ice and Smirnoff vodka they also found the store selling non-duty paid vodka and whisky.

“Trading standards believe that the premises clearly do not have adequate systems and procedures in place to prevent illegal supply of goods from the premises,” says a 400 page report compiled for a licensing hearing next Thursday.

They also have evidence that some of the counterfeit vodka contained tertiary butanol “a denaturant not usually destined for food use and more usually used in cosmetics.”


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Trading standards officials say the store’s actions “clearly undermine the public safety objective and could also be considered to constitute participation in crime and disorder. Therefore it is requested that the premises licence is reviewed in the interest of protecting innocent customers and consumers of goods originating from the premises.”

Paul Cumberland, of HM Customs and Excise, will tell the hearing that their officers seized 205.6 litres of sprits and they were satisfied that due to owner Soran Omar Hussein being unable to produce invoices or receipts that no duty had been paid on it.

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“The labelling on the bottles appeared to be incorrect or they had no tax stamps/labels at all,” said Mr Cumberland. He said lost revenue was nearly �2,000.

The hearing will be told that the shop was visited in both June and September last year and on each occasions suspect drink was found.

“A full licence hearing is required to address the range of complex and serious issues associated with alcohol sales at these premises,” says Cambs trading standards.

They are recommending the licence is revoked.

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