A Mansfield Woodhouse shopkeeper has received a £1,000 fine after he was caught in possession of 15 bottles of counterfeit vodka.
Jitendra Patel (54) of Patel’s on Park Road, pleaded guilty to one offence under the Trade Marks Act 1994, one offence under the Food Safety Act 1990 and three breaches of the General Food Regulations 2004.
The prosecution was carried out by Nottinghamshire County Council’s Trading Standards team who visited the shop in response to reports from the public that it was selling counterfeit vodka.
Tests revealed that a bottle of Passion Vodka contained 22.3mg of propan-2-OL, compared to an acceptable level of 1.68mg.
The substance can cause symptoms such as liver and kidney damage, brain damage or vomiting.
Coun Glynn Gilfoyle, chairman of the county council’s community safety committee, said: “Counterfeit vodka is potentially very harmful to health and can contain chemicals which lead to kidney or liver problems and even coma.
“It was really reckless of this trader to have harmful counterfeit vodka on his premises and we will come down hard on shopkeepers found with such products in their possession.
“We advise residents to take a careful look at the alcohol they buy to make sure they are buying the genuine product.”
Tell-tale signs of fake vodka include the drink smelling like nail varnish, poorly printed labels, spelling errors and bottles on the shelf not being filled to the same level.
For more information or to report a shop suspected as selling counterfeit alcohol contact the Citizens Advice Consumer helpline on 08454 04 05 06. On top of the £1,000 fine, Patel was told he must pay £671 in prosecution costs.