Booze ban for shopkeeper caught selling fake vodka
A SHOPKEEPER who sold dangerous fake vodka has been banned from selling booze and fined almost £3,000.
Chetan Patel was caught selling the illegal vodka in his Premier Stores shop in Tanners Walk at the Broadmarsh Centre.
When Trading Standards officers tested it they found that some of it had higher alcohol levels than displayed on the bottle.
It also contained dangerously high levels of methanol – 27 times higher than the maximum recommended limit.
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Jane Bailey, Trading Standards manager, said: "It was so contaminated that it was unfit for human consumption."
That vodka was discovered on October 19 last year after Trading Standards were tipped off by Sharon Gayle, of Long Eaton, who became ill after drinking it.
When the shop was visited again just weeks later, Trading Standards officers seized yet more illegal vodka.
Among the goods seized by Trading Standards officers during their visits were:
Six bottles of Arctic Ice vodka – which was found to contain 27 times the permitted level of methanol and had an alcohol content of 51 per cent, even though the label stated it was 37.5 per cent.
Two, one-litre bottles of Russian Standard Vodka – which was later found to contain 18 times the normal level of methanol.
Patel, 36, appeared at Nottingham Magistrates Court on October 31 this year, where he pleaded guilty to offences under the General Food Regulations Act and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Act. Patel was ordered to pay fines and costs totalling £2,876.
In a separate action, Trading Standards applied for the store's alcohol licence to be reviewed.
At a hearing on October 24 this year, the city council's licensing panel revoked the licence.
Ms Gayle said: "You don't go in an everyday shop like that and expect to be sold dangerous goods."
She suffered sickness and dizzy spells for several days after drinking the vodka, and says her health is still affected.
"I get headaches every day and have to take medication all the time," she said.
Councillor Alex Norris, the city council's portfolio holder for community safety said: "We're really pleased with the level of fine imposed and also the decision of the licensing panel to revoke the licence. We take the health of our citizens very seriously and Community Protection's Trading Standards officers carry out regular test purchase operations to ensure that the city's off-licences are operating within the law."
Following the case, the city's Community Protection team is urging people to ensure they look out for potentially dangerous alcohol by following a few simple tips:
Look at the price. Don't be tempted by something that is too cheap.
Always buy recognised brands.
Look for spelling mistakes or poor quality labelling.
Have you seen fake booze on sale in shop in Notts? Call our newsdesk on 0115 905 1967 or email firstname.lastname@example.org