A LEEDS shopkeeper has been fined after selling illicit vodka that he purchased from a ‘white van man’.
Krishen Parmar, who runs a shop in a busy student area, pleaded guilty to two offences of selling counterfeit vodka at Leeds Magistrates Court.
Parmar was ordered to pay £3,489 in fines and costs after officers from West Yorkshire Trading Standards inspected his shop following a tip-off.
They discovered a large number of Drop Vodka bottles on the shelves and behind the counter at Nisa, on Cavendish Street.
Drop Vodka cannot be sold legally in this country.
Samples from the bottles revealed that they did not contain the minimum amount of alcohol and traces of industrial solvent chloroform were discovered in both samples.
Parmar said that it was his “mistake” to purchase from a white van man who did not give him a proper invoice.
He said it was the first time he had dealt with that particular supplier, who was traced, but found to not be in possession of any illicit products.
He said that since the incident he has put procedures in place to prevent it happening again, including staff training and new ordering procedures.
Officers from West Yorkshire Trading Standards visited a number of shops in Leeds in July that were suspected of selling counterfeit or illicit vodka and found two thirds of the premises were selling illicit or counterfeit vodka.
Graham Hebblethwaite, chief officer from WYTS, said: “It is a great concern that shops in West Yorkshire are tempted to purchase illicit and counterfeit alcohol.
“Proprietors must carry out the relevant checks before purchasing alcohol from new suppliers.”
Councillor Neil Taggart, chair of the West Yorkshire Joint Services Committee, added: “Traders that do not carry out checks on products and suppliers before they purchase, and put products on sale are running a risk.
“The risk may have health implications on the residents of West Yorkshire.”