ILLEGAL wines and spirits worth £8,000 were seized by officers from West Sussex County Council Trading Standards Service when they raided two premises in Worthing with Sussex Police and HM Customs this week.
The swoop was part of a drive to protect local businesses and prevent consumers from being conned at Christmas by rogue traders selling food and drink that is falsely described.
The drink, which included vodka, whisky and brandy, was poor quality, falsely described and counterfeit. In past cases, counterfeit vodka has proved to be very dangerous to people’s health and can cause blindness. HM Customs’ officers also discovered duty evasion on the goods found.
Peter Evans, County Council Cabinet Member for Public Protection, said: “This joint raid was part of our Trading Standards Service’s ongoing drive to protect consumers and legitimate businesses in West Sussex from the activities of counterfeiters.
“As well as conning people out of their hard-earned Christmas cash, counterfeiters also make large amounts of money by exploiting the reputation and trademarks of established brands.
“Their activities impact upon the West Sussex economy and could ultimately lead to local, legitimate businesses closing.”
If you suspect anyone of selling counterfeit goods you can report direct to the Trading Standards Service using the anonymous reporting facility on its website at www.westsussex.gov.uk or contact Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06 or visit http://www.consumerdirect.gov.uk/.