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HEFTY FINE FOR LEICESTER SHOPKEEPER CAUGHT SELLING COUNTERFEIT WINE

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A LEICESTER shop keeper has been slapped with a £4,000 fine, after he was caught selling counterfeit wine at his premises.

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Mr Kannan Vigneswaran, who runs Narborough General Stores, on Leicester Road, appeared before Leicester Magistrates Court earlier today (January 13), where he pleaded guilty to breaches of the Trademark Act and the Food Safety Act.

He was caught selling an illegal counterfeit Yellow Tail wine, following a tip off from a member of the public on December 9, 2020.

Two officers from Leicestershire County Council Trading Standards Service visited Narborough General Store on December 22 where they identified 148 bottles of Yellow Tail Wine – a popular Australian brand, which they believed may be counterfeit. 

There were five different varieties of Yellow Tail wines seized –  Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.

All but six bottles seized were later confirmed as counterfeit by the brand owner’s EU distributer as not only being fake, but also weaker than the real thing.

Some of the wine, which was supposed to be 13.5 per cent alcohol content, was found to be less than 12 per cent.

It had been purchased from an unknown man who came to the shop in a white van in early December 2020, no receipt was provided for the wine and the shopkeeper had never seen him before.

As a result of the offence, magistrates ordered Mr Vigneswaran to pay a £4,000 fine, which will go towards the prosecution costs.

“This is a positive result for Leicestershire Trading Standards and the level of the fine indicates the seriousness with which the court has viewed these offences,” said a spokesperson for Leicestershire Trading Standards.

“Consumers can be doubly misled when they are tricked into buying counterfeit products.  Firstly, not only are they wrongly paying a higher price for what they think is a well-known brand name, but they also usually receive an inferior product, and in this case one with a lower alcohol volume than that declared or expected.   

“The content of the product is not known by the seller, meaning they risk selling a product that is unsafe and can cause harm to their customers. 

“If anyone is aware of any businesses which they think may be selling counterfeit food or drink, please report it to Leicestershire Trading Standards at tradingstandards@leics.gov.uk “

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