A RAINHILL businessman has been found guilty of selling counterfeit vodka.
Michael Lane, aged 38, was given a two year conditional discharge and ordered to pay £1,870 costs.
Lane, who is from Crosby, ran Kozi Ltd Station Road, Rainhill.
He was found guilty at St Helens Magistrates Court last week of possessing for sale counterfeit Smirnoff branded vodka.
The prosecution was taken by St Helens Council’s Trading Standards Service following a routine inspection of the premises in July last year.
Samples of vodka displayed in the bar area of the restaurant were taken and found not to be genuine Smirnoff vodka as indicated on the bottle labels.
Councillor Alison Bacon, St Helens Council’s Cabinet Member for Environmental Protection said: “The substitution of branded spirits with another spirit, usually of inferior quality, is unfortunately quite common. Latest figures suggest around 1 in 50 outlets sell misleadingly labelled spirits. This rips off consumers, manufacturers and suppliers of the real product.”
Trading Standards ask anyone who suspects they may have been sold copied spirits to telephone 08454 040506. Information can be left anonymously.