Dangerous fake drink on sale in the county

Ansh Food and Wine in Chinnor

Abingdon GP Prit Buttar

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First published in Countywide Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Crime Reporter, also covering Barton and Wood Farm. Call me on (01865) 425427

DRINKERS are being warned that “extremely dangerous” bogus booze could be on sale across the county.

It comes as an off-licence owner was fined a record amount in Oxfordshire for selling counterfeit alcohol.

Oxfordshire County Council’s Trading Standards Team has seized 227 bottles of fake wine and eight bottles of vodka since June last year.

And last night it warned they could be contaminated with chemicals.

About £2,000 worth of counterfeit alcohol was seized from Ansh Food and Wine in Chinnor in April. The haul included 147 bottles of fake Blossom Hill wine, 28 bottles of counterfeit Jacob’s Creek wine, and one bottle of fake vodka.

Store owner Paramjit Singh Khiali was fined £9,250 and £1,941 costs at Oxford Magistrates’ Court last week after he admitted eight charges under the food safety and trade mark laws.

He admitted buying alcohol on three occasions without doing proper checks.

The 47-year-old was caught after a customer alerted Trading Standards after buying some fake wine.

Mr Khiali told the Oxford Mail that he did not know the alcohol was counterfeit and he was sorry for his mistake.

Shop assistant Kultar Singh said the fine would hurt the business. He said: “It was a mistake. We did not realise. I know if I sell bad stuff we will lose customers.”

Trading Standards can now call for the shop’s licence to be reviewed.

Its head Richard Webb said fake booze was becoming more widespread.

“It’s a problem across the whole country, but we are starting to see more cases of counterfeit alcohol being distributed across Oxfordshire.”

Of Mr Khaili’s fine, he added: “We are pleased with the result, and it shows that the court takes matters of counterfeit alcohol very seriously.

“The high fine reflects the importance of being able to trace the supply chain for products so that any unsafe goods can be quickly removed from the market.

“Businesses should only buy their stock from legitimate source; otherwise there are potential serious consequences for any retailer.”

Trading Standards is now analysing the seized bottles to determine if they contained any dangerous chemicals.

Judith Heathcoat, council cabinet member for safer and stronger communities, said: “Counterfeit alcohol can be extremely dangerous as it is usually mixed with chemicals that aren’t fit for consumption.”

Three bottles of illegal vodka were seized from the 7 to 9 store in Oxford Road, Cowley, in October last year and the shop was given a warning.

Trading Standards said it was not known where the alcohol was coming from, but said some cold callers turn up at off-licences claiming their businesses have closed and they are selling stock.

Abingdon GP Dr Prit Buttar said counterfeit booze could be contaminated with a range of dangerous chemicals.

He said: “Methanol can blind permanently. Some of the other contaminants can cause irreparable damage and if it was somebody with a history of heavy alcohol consumption then that would make the toxic effect greater.”

If you think a product is counterfeit, call Trading Standards via Citizens Advice Consumer helpline on 08454 040506.

Comments (8)

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8:40am Sun 9 Dec 12

Lord Palmerstone says...

"Trading Standards is now analysing the seized bottles to determine if they contained any dangerous chemicals"
They did it long ago, and they didn't contain anything dangerous. It takes months for a prosecution to be brought, so plenty of time for chemical analysis. If there had been noxious contents the charge would have been brought by CPS under The Offences Against The Person Act.
Ben, don't be too uncritical in your reporting. You'll not get on a London paper unless you take all bureaucrat speak **** granum salis.
Vodka is actually perfectly easy to make at home. You won't encounter methanol unless you put chunks of wood in your fermenting wort and the worst thing that'll happen is that if you don't discard the approprate fraction (which is, frankly a mistake anyone with normal intelligence won't make) you'll get fusel oil which is not fatal and and has an unpleasant taste so you would only need one sip to discard it.People have been home distilling for centuries.I don't because I can afford not to. Google it if you're in any doubt.
"Trading Standards is now analysing the seized bottles to determine if they contained any dangerous chemicals" They did it long ago, and they didn't contain anything dangerous. It takes months for a prosecution to be brought, so plenty of time for chemical analysis. If there had been noxious contents the charge would have been brought by CPS under The Offences Against The Person Act. Ben, don't be too uncritical in your reporting. You'll not get on a London paper unless you take all bureaucrat speak **** granum salis. Vodka is actually perfectly easy to make at home. You won't encounter methanol unless you put chunks of wood in your fermenting wort and the worst thing that'll happen is that if you don't discard the approprate fraction (which is, frankly a mistake anyone with normal intelligence won't make) you'll get fusel oil which is not fatal and and has an unpleasant taste so you would only need one sip to discard it.People have been home distilling for centuries.I don't because I can afford not to. Google it if you're in any doubt. Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: 0

8:53am Sun 9 Dec 12

Lord Palmerstone says...

the asterisks were for a 3 letter Latin word meaning "with" for heaven's sake!
the asterisks were for a 3 letter Latin word meaning "with" for heaven's sake! Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: 0

4:47pm Sun 9 Dec 12

Pavinder Msvarensy says...

The headline is very misleading, the booze was not dangerous at all, and considering the wine brands involved, couldn't have tasted any worse to be honest. Perhaps a more accurate headline would have been GIDEON OSBORNE WARNS OF TAX FREE BOOZE ON SALE IN OXON. Now that is a real crime doing him out of his cut in the alcohol industry.
The headline is very misleading, the booze was not dangerous at all, and considering the wine brands involved, couldn't have tasted any worse to be honest. Perhaps a more accurate headline would have been GIDEON OSBORNE WARNS OF TAX FREE BOOZE ON SALE IN OXON. Now that is a real crime doing him out of his cut in the alcohol industry. Pavinder Msvarensy
  • Score: 0

10:30pm Sun 9 Dec 12

cynicality says...

It's so heartwarming and reassuring to know that there's a 'cabinet member for safer and stronger communities' who's charged with protecting us from ourselves :-)
It's so heartwarming and reassuring to know that there's a 'cabinet member for safer and stronger communities' who's charged with protecting us from ourselves :-) cynicality
  • Score: 0

10:31pm Sun 9 Dec 12

cynicality says...

Lord Palmerstone wrote:
the asterisks were for a 3 letter Latin word meaning "with" for heaven's sake!
Hilarious ! Rude-word filter wasn't programmed to recognize Latin!
[quote][p][bold]Lord Palmerstone[/bold] wrote: the asterisks were for a 3 letter Latin word meaning "with" for heaven's sake![/p][/quote]Hilarious ! Rude-word filter wasn't programmed to recognize Latin! cynicality
  • Score: 0

11:32am Mon 10 Dec 12

snert says...

As soon as any product or product type gets heavily taxed, you will always get the counterfeiters appearing to make bootleg stuff and independent retailers are the most likely to buy and sell it on.
As soon as any product or product type gets heavily taxed, you will always get the counterfeiters appearing to make bootleg stuff and independent retailers are the most likely to buy and sell it on. snert
  • Score: 0

7:08pm Mon 10 Dec 12

Lord Palmerstone says...

Pavinder Msvarensy wrote:
The headline is very misleading, the booze was not dangerous at all, and considering the wine brands involved, couldn't have tasted any worse to be honest. Perhaps a more accurate headline would have been GIDEON OSBORNE WARNS OF TAX FREE BOOZE ON SALE IN OXON. Now that is a real crime doing him out of his cut in the alcohol industry.
Pavinder I agree with the second part of what you say, but I like Jacobs Creek and Blossom Hill isn't too bad. Am I a philistine? I've tasted wine at £20 a bottle but struggle to see the £15 extra value.
But of course paying tax is a moral duty, pace Cameron, (pace is a Latin word OM) and the rumour that the state blows 80% of tax on rubbish and then borrows as much again to burden our grandchildren is simply an ugly rumour put about by liberals like myself.The Trots in UK Uncut must be right, musn't they Dave?
[quote][p][bold]Pavinder Msvarensy[/bold] wrote: The headline is very misleading, the booze was not dangerous at all, and considering the wine brands involved, couldn't have tasted any worse to be honest. Perhaps a more accurate headline would have been GIDEON OSBORNE WARNS OF TAX FREE BOOZE ON SALE IN OXON. Now that is a real crime doing him out of his cut in the alcohol industry.[/p][/quote]Pavinder I agree with the second part of what you say, but I like Jacobs Creek and Blossom Hill isn't too bad. Am I a philistine? I've tasted wine at £20 a bottle but struggle to see the £15 extra value. But of course paying tax is a moral duty, pace Cameron, (pace is a Latin word OM) and the rumour that the state blows 80% of tax on rubbish and then borrows as much again to burden our grandchildren is simply an ugly rumour put about by liberals like myself.The Trots in UK Uncut must be right, musn't they Dave? Lord Palmerstone
  • Score: 0

6:34pm Tue 11 Dec 12

Pavinder Msvarensy says...

One would have expected better taste from you M'Lud, just drinking a very nice S.B. Loire Valley, on special at Sainsbury's Kidlington only £5.29, much better than that American and Aussie rubbish. Not that I'm a snob.
One would have expected better taste from you M'Lud, just drinking a very nice S.B. Loire Valley, on special at Sainsbury's Kidlington only £5.29, much better than that American and Aussie rubbish. Not that I'm a snob. Pavinder Msvarensy
  • Score: 0

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