A Sheffield off-licence owner has been caught selling illegal booze in his shop – just six weeks after he was convicted for similar offences.
Jigar Patel has had his licence revoked in relation to two off-licences he owned after Trading Standards inspectors found illegal alcohol.
The illicit booze was discovered on sale just six weeks after Patel was convicted of similar offences at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court.
Following Sheffield Council’s Licensing Sub-Committee meeting on Monday, the Rhythm and Booze shops on Abbeydale Road and on Brooklands Avenue, Fulwood, permanently lost their licences.
Coun Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for public health and equality, said: “We will not tolerate the sale of illicit alcohol products.
“In this case the alcohol was genuine but had been bought illegally.
“That means Mr Patel could not have known whether the contents were genuine or counterfeit and this poses serious health risks to the communities these shops serve, hence the need to review the licences.
“Counterfeit alcohol can cause severe illness, vomiting, nausea, blindness and death. It is not produced to industry standards, so consumers have no idea of the strength of the alcohol they are consuming.
“This is not the first time Mr Patel has been found selling illegal products, so we have taken the necessary steps to prevent him from doing this again.
“Not only was he taking risks with his customers’ health, he was breaching Trade Marks and Food Safety controls in addition to the avoidance of excise duty.”
The grounds for reviewing these licences came under Prevention of Crime and Disorder, Public safety and Protection of Children from Harm. Representation was also made by the Sheffield Safeguarding Children Board over concerns about the serious lack of systems in place to control under age sales at both premises.
Illicit, or illegal alcohol, is either alcohol that is produced in unlicensed distilleries or people’s homes using replica bottles labelled as a genuine product or is genuine branded alcohol that has avoided paying UK taxes and duty either by being stolen and bought in bulk or buying illegally from a warehouse where the products are intended solely for export.
Advice on how to spot illicit alcohol can be found at: http://sheffielddact.org.uk/drugs-alcohol/priorities-and-campaigns/illicit-alcohol-sales-campaign