A supermarket has had its licence to sell alcohol revoked after Trading Standards officers found illicit booze and tobacco on the premises.
During a sweep of the shop in November last year 242 bottles of wine and spirits along with tobacco were seized from SFW Express in Church Lane, Leytonstone.
Trading Standards officers, a representative from the International Federation of Spirit Producers and HMRC found the shop was selling counterfeit alcohol and had avoided paying tax.
In total 154 bottles of vodka were seized along with 63kg of shisha tobacco and other items.
Officers estimated that 10 per cent of the entire stock was counterfeit or had not had legitimate tax paid on it.
Samples of the alcohol were sent to manufacturers who confirmed that it was fake.
The shop’s owner Mohammed Yasser Akram claimed that the shop’s manager Mohammed Kasim Akram had purchased the alcohol.
However the shop manager claimed that an employee had bought the booze.
Licensing officer Marc Witham said the safety of customers had been compromised.
He said: “Whilst in this case it appears that the wine products did not contain any harmful material, it is highly unlikely that the licence holder was aware of the contents.
“Trading Standards are still awaiting the test results of the Smirnoff Vodka, however, as it has been confirmed all the packaging is counterfeit it is inconceivable that the spirit inside will be genuine.
Leytonstone councillor Clyde Loakes welcomed the decision. He said: “This family has run the shop for 30 years, they know the ropes.
“Selling under the counter booze fuels criminal and gang activity. I am very pleased with the decision.”
SFW Express has 21 days to appeal the decision made by the council's licensing committee today.