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£5,000 of illegal booze found in Whitechapel off-licence

PUBLISHED: 15:11 11 January 2011 | UPDATED: 15:22 11 January 2011

Police line

Police line

Archant

THREE off-licences have had thousands of pounds worth of illegal booze seized.

The businesses, all in Whitechapel, were targeted by plain-clothed officers from Trading Standards the Whitechapel Town Centre Team.

One of the premises was alone found to have almost £5,000 worth of illegal wine and spirits on its shelves – a tax evasion of around £3,000.

Bob Gaiger, from HM Revenue and Customs, said a prosecution will be considered, but often having the goods confiscated is a sufficient financial penalty in itself.

He added: “We estimate that spirit fraud alone deprives the public purse of around £350 million a year in lost revenue.”

PC Joe Prasad, from the town centre team said the public should be wary of buying smuggled drink because “you never quite know what’s in it”.

The operation, on December 22, was targeting those selling smuggled alcohol, tobacco and counterfeit goods


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