Mansfield shop owners fined for selling counterfeit wine

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Two owners of a Mansfield store have been fined £400 each and ordered to pay £540 each in costs after Trading Standards Officers from Nottinghamshire County Council found poor quality counterfeit wine on sale in their shop.

Mr Rajendran Thurairajah (48) and Mrs Karunathevi Shanmuganathan (57), who own P and A Stores on Chesterfield Road North, Mansfield, admitted Trade Mark and Food Safety offences at Mansfield Magistrates Court yesterday (24 January 2013).

Nottinghamshire County Council’s Trading Standards officers seized 34 bottles of counterfeit wine, labelled as Jacob’s Creek, during an inspection in June last year. The inspection followed a report from a member of the public who purchased the wine from the shop who spotted spelling mistakes on the labelling including ‘Shardonnay’ instead of ‘Chardonnay’.

Officers described the counterfeit wine as “of very low quality and substandard taste” but laboratory tests showed that it presented no health risk to the public if consumed.

The shop owners said that they had bought the wine from a friend who had a shop that was closing down when questioned.

Coun Mick Murphy, Chairman of Nottinghamshire County Council’s Community Safety Committee, said: “This case came to light following a complaint from a local resident who had seen publicity on one of our previous seizures, which including a warning about spelling mistakes often found on counterfeit alcohol labels.

“We encourage local people to be our eyes and ears and report any concerns about wine or spirits that they have either purchased or seen for sale in the county which could be counterfeit.

“Counterfeit alcohol can contain harmful chemicals. Fortunately this batch of wine did not present any health risks, but the retailer and their customers weren’t to know that.”

If you are concerned that you may have bought or been offered counterfeit alcohol, report it to Trading Standards through the Citizen’s Advice Consumer Advice Line on 08454 04 05 06.