Licensed premises across Lincolnshire are being warned that the county’s Trading Standards and police are watching, after a kebab shop owner was prosecuted for selling fake vodka containing paint stripper chemicals.
Salaman Pelit (41) licencee of Zorba 3, a takeaway on Winsover Road in Spalding, was found guilty of selling non duty paid and fake vodka at Spalding Magistrates Court on January 30.
Lincolnshire Trading Standards prosecuted on the grounds that both Mr Pelit and Zorba 3 had been gaining financially from crime, after a raid in 2012 when 29 bottles of illegal alcohol were seized.
Tests on the seized alcohol proved that it was not vodka or any type of drinking alcohol, and no details of the supplier or evidence that duty had been paid were present.
Ian Newell, Safer Communities Manager at Lincolnshire County Council, commented: “This result should send out a clear message to other licensed premises to deter them from similar activities.
“Lincolnshire Safer Communities Trading Standards and Lincolnshire Police take illegal alcohol and tobacco incredibly seriously and are committed to working together to tackle this issue and will take appropriate enforcement action against those involved.
“The public can be reassured that we are continuing to monitor the situation in Spalding and countywide to ensure their safety, but by being aware of the issues and being cautious when shopping, people can avoid buying potentially harmful, illegal products, and reduce the demand,” added Mr Newell.
Coun Peter Robinson, Executive Councillor for Community Safety, said: “Lincolnshire residents can be reassured that our Trading Standards teams will continue to work hard to keep these dangerous products off our streets.”
Mr Pelit had his premises licence removed in October 2012, and since this conviction, has now had his personal licence removed, meaning that he will no longer be able to sell alcohol anywhere in the UK.
Inspector Rod Rose from Lincolnshire Police’s licensing team said: “These decisions send out a clear signal that operating in this way will not be tolerated in Spalding, or indeed across Lincolnshire.
“We hope that other premises who may have been tempted to sell smuggled or counterfeit goods from their venues will see this as a deterrent. We will continue to work with Trading Standards and HMRC in targeting those premises that continue to operate illegally.”
Lincolnshire Safer Communities is urging members of the public to contact the Trading Standards team on 01522 782341 if illegal activity is suspected.