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Northern Ireland social club found selling fake vodka as part of Interpol led Belfast council operation

Published 09/08/2016

Markers of Smirnoff vodka were not found in samples.
Markers of Smirnoff vodka were not found in samples.

A social club in north Belfast has been fined £300 for six breaches of food safety legislation.

The Shamrock Sports and Social Club on Flax Street, Belfast was prosecuted following sampling of alcohol 19 November 2015 as part of Operation OPSON, which is a Europol and Interpol led initiative against fake and illicit food worldwide that Belfast City Council took part in last year.

Five separate samples of Smirnoff vodka were found to be "adulterated", the council said.

A statement added: "The amount of alcohol in each of the samples was different to that declared by Smirnoff vodka.

"Genuine Smirnoff vodka produced for the UK market contains markers which were not detected in any of the samples.

"The samples were not genuine Smirnoff vodka and were therefore not of the nature demanded by the purchaser which is an offence under Article 13 of the Food Safety (NI) Order 1991.

"The club secretary was prosecuted for these five offences and for an additional offence of failing to provide specific details regarding who supplied the alcohol, which is an offence under General Food Regulations (NI) 2004."

The club secretary was also ordered to pay court costs of £72 in relation to the offence.

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