A FORMER kebab shop owner has admitted selling fake vodka.

Gzim Morina, 29, admitted nine charges relating to the sale of alcohol when he appeared at Colchester Magistrates’ Court.

He was charged with displaying food with false labels, failing to comply with alcohol regulations and possessing and using goods with false trademarks, including the false labelling of 71 bottles of vodka.

Morina is no longer connected with Bar-B-Q-House in North Station Road, Colchester where the offences took place between October last year and this October.

Morina was given a suspended 12-week jail sentence, ordered to carry out 120 hours unpaid work, fined £500 and told to pay £1,000 costs.

He also had to pay £18.48 to a customer.

Roger Walters, councillor responsible for Trading Standards at Essex County Council, said: “This case demonstrates our commitment to ensuring illegal alcohol is removed from sale in our county.

“We take a robust view because of the potential risks to people’s health caused by what might be contained within illicit or counterfeit alcoholic drinks.

“If a cheap deal seems too good to be true it often is and it is not worth taking the gamble.

“We would advise consumers and traders alike to only purchase from reputable sources.

“This case came to our attention thanks to information from members of the public; we would encourage anyone who has concerns or information regarding the sale of illegal alcoholic drinks in Essex to contact us.”

Consumers can report concerns to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 040506.

Concerned businesses can call Contact Essex on 0845 603 7626.