discount cigarettes onlineApproximately 10,000 cigarettes and 54 bottles of alcohol were seized during a trading standards and customs raid carried out on shops up and down Hertford Road last Wednesday.

All the items were suspected of being either fake or not having paid the proper import duty, they could now be destroyed while the shop owners face prosecution and have their premises’ licence reviewed, and potentially revoked.

During the operation, carried out by Revenue and Customs officers and the trading standard team from Enfield Council, two teams raided 16 premises – some following tip offs and checking on retailers that had previously flouted the law.

At Paradise Food and Wine customs detection officers Jon Read and Kelvin Gould seized 7,000 Polish cigarettes, some stashed behind the counter, some stocked at the back of the shop.

The team, including Sheila Lahey, from the council’s trading standards department, also confiscated ten 70cl bottles of vodka. Two of the bottles – which had Glen’s Vodka labels on them – were taken by Sheila for testing. She explained: “We have some intelligence that there are some fake bottles of Glen’s Vodka being sold in shops in the area, so this would be a health and safety issue.”

According to the team there are a number of telltale signs they look for. “I look out for the spelling and the way the labels are fixed on. The fake labels will not be on securely and they may be spelt incorrectly or they may use an old website,” said Sheila. “To absolutely verify whether it was a fake it would have to be tested.”

Jon also added that the price of the alcohol is a strong indicator of whether the alcohol had been legitimately imported. “The duty on a 70cl bottle of vodka is about £6.50 so if it is only on sale for about £8 then it is likely to be illegally imported,” he said “They just couldn’t make any money out of it otherwise.”

Kelvin also uses an ultra violet light to shine on the stamp on the back of the bottle, which glows a slightly yellow colour when the bottle is genuine.

Following his interview with Jon and Kelvin, Erdal Targay, the owner claims to have only been in charge of the shop for two months and all the suspect stock remained from the previous managment.

However, Jon and Kelvin gave him a warning, along with information about what can legally be sold in his shop. They also warn him to keep invoices so the inspectors can check the source of the Italian wine on sale at two for £5.

“We will tell them that we will be back to check on them again and if they continue to do it then we have the option of suspending their trading licence,” added Jon.