Two Luton businesses were fined thousands of pounds at Luton Magistrates Court on Tuesday, June 16 after pleading guilty to selling dangerous fake vodka and alcohol to children.
The offenceswere uncovered when Luton Borough Council’s Trading Standards officers carried out a spot check exercise in local shops.
Kishor Patel of Suresh News in the Purley Centre, and Altaf Ahmed of X-Press News in Park Street, attended court and pleaded guilty in separate cases bought by the Council following the discovery of fake vodka containing chemicals normally found in paint remover on sale in their shops.
On separate operations, both businesses also sold alcohol to child volunteers sent into the shop by Council Trading Standards officers during a spot-check exercise.
Both defendants admitted buying their vodka from a white van man.
Kishor Patel was ordered to pay a total of £2,800 including costs and a victim surcharge. Altaf Ahmed was fined a total of £2,085 for the offences, including costs and a victim surcharge. The court ordered the vodka to be destroyed.
Cllr Jacqui Burnett, portfolio holder for Trading Standards, said: “Both businesses showed no regard for the law. They put profit before other considerations and exposed their customers to serious health risks. Their behaviour also undermined other local traders operating within the law.
“To make matters worse, both traders were also willing to sell alcohol to children.”
She continued: “I hope these fines send out a clear message to businesses tempted to break the law that the Council does not tolerate such activity.”
Both businesses now face a review of their licence to sell alcohol and could face a suspension or even having their licence revoked.
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