Crackdown on sale of illegal drink in Newham

A crackdown on the sale of illegal alcohol at Newham shops has revealed that almost a third of the 230 raided premises had booze that was fake, counterfeit, or illegal because no duty was paid.

Not just against the law the fake stuff could be harmful and lead to ill-health.

The astonishing figures were revealed by the town hall after a nine month campaign that involved swoops by council trading standard watchdogs on off-licences, shops and supermarkets.

It resulted in suspect drink being confiscated from over 70 premises and seven having their liquor licences revoked.


Two were in East Ham off-licences and the raids included hauls of around 38,000 dodgy cigarettes, 120 litres of wine and 21 litres of spirits that centred of almost 50 bottles of counterfeit Jacob’s Creek, 60 bottles of spirits and 860 bottles of duty-evaded wine.

Nearly 160 litres of illegal spirits, selling at about �17 a bottle, were confiscated from an off-licence in Forest Gate. That could have amounted to �25,000 in lost duty. The shop lost its licence.

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Newham Council’s Cllr Ian Corbett, executive member for infrastructure and environment, said illegal alcohol is a risk to people’s health as in most cases it has not been properly produced. Counterfeit alcohol tends to be rebottled cheaper wine. Fake alcohol is made in illegal factories in the UK.

Shoppers are being advised to watch out for tell tale signs of illegality: Spelling mistakes on the label, bottles of the same product look different, bottles not filled to same level and the label not straight

* Members of the public spotting these items are urged to contact Consumer Direct on 01622 626520 or