‘Smuggled’ wine and vodka seized in raid

Hundreds of bottles of suspected smuggled wine and vodka have been seized following a raid by UK customs.

fake vodka100 litres of vodka and 300 bottles of wine were confiscated from off-licences in Milton Keyes on Wednesday 18 December by officers from Milton Keynes Council and Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

It is suspected that duty had not been paid on the goods and counterfeit UK Duty Paid stamps had been put on some of the spirits.

As the items would not have gone through the normal checks there is also a chance some could be fake or even dangerous.

Bob Gaiger, a spokesman for HMRC said: “HMRC works with other law enforcement agencies to target anyone we suspect is selling smuggled alcohol.

“We relentlessly pursue any individuals believed to be involved in this type of criminal activity. It is not a victimless crime and undermines the efforts of legitimate traders.”

Karen Ford, head of the regulatory unit at Milton Keynes Council, said: “I am very pleased with the result of these visits.  Off Licenses should make sure, that the alcohol that they sell has come from genuine sources.

“It might seem like a cheap deal to customers, but the reality is that it gives an unfair advantage over those shopkeepers who stick to the law, and only buy in legitimate goods, where the duty has been paid.

“As they would have not gone through the normal ‘checks and balances’, there is also a chance that some of the alcohol could be fake, and even dangerous.”

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