Leeds shop owner sold counterfeit booze and tobacco

A shop owner who was caught selling counterfeit vodka and tobacco from two shops in Leeds has been given a suspended prison sentence.


Trading Standards officers targeted Grosik off licence, on Harehills Lane, after receiving complaints from members of the public.

Leeds Crown Court heard an officer carried out test purchases of bottles of Smirnoff and Glen’s vodka on December 13 last year.

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Michael Walsh said the content of the bottles were examined and found to contain a different alcohol percentage. Mr Walsh said the alcohol also failed to comply with the Food Safety Act.

Shop owner Bashdar Sardar, 43, was unable to provide officers with documentation to prove who supplied him with the alcohol. Pouches of tobacco with the Golden Virginia and Amber Leaf logos were also purchased which were found to be in breach of the Trade Marks Act.

Mr Walsh said officers received further information about another shop on Harehills Lane which Sardar owned.

More ‘Amber Leaf’ and ‘Golden Virginia’ pouches were found which breached the Trade Marks Act were found along with packets of ‘Mayfair’ cigarettes. A total of 34 bottles of vodka and 18 pouches of tobacco were found to be in breach of illegal.

Other tobacco products were also on sale which were not permitted to be sold in Europe.

Sardar, of Aberdeen Grove, Armley, pleaded guilty to eight breaches of the Trade Marks Act and two breaches of General Food Regulations.

The court heard Sardar no longer owned the business and was claiming disability benefits.

He was given a four-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 250 hours unpaid work. Judge Tom Bayliss, QC, said: “This is a serious matter in itself but of course when you set about selling counterfeit goods which are for human consumption, you run a serious risk that the items will not be of a standard that are fit for human consumption.

“The running of that risk is a serious matter. There has to be, in my judgement, a prison sentence to mark the seriousness of these offences.