Spirit 'tipping' is on the increase

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Related tags: Crime, Spirit

Illegally refilling branded spirits with a cheaper product is on the rise, the International Federation of Spirits Producers (IFSPUK) has warned.The...

Illegally refilling branded spirits with a cheaper product is on the rise, the International Federation of Spirits Producers (IFSPUK) has warned.

The trade association said it had seen an increase in reported cases of the crime, known as "tipping", in the frist two months of the year.

The revelation comes in the same week Daniel McSweeney and Gavin Hall of the McHalls Hotel, Blackpool, were fined £840 for selling cheap alternatives at the price of branded liquors.

It is the second successful prosecution for the offence in Blackpool this month. William and Helen Drummond of the Fourways Hotel were fined £754 for similar offences.

IFSP UK director Philip Scatchard said: "These fines, although lower than average for this offence, should help remind the minority of licensees that they are increasingly unlikely to get away with conning their customers.

"Branded spirits substitution with cheaper and sometimes illegal spirits is not as widespread as it used to be but it is still at unacceptable levels."

He said two per cent of pubs and more than 10 per cent of independent restaurants were illegally substituting brands, giving them an unfair competitive advantage and costing customers more than £10m a year.

The body said it would step up support for trading standards enforcement officers, who can check the authenticity of certain spirit brands with a dip stick test, to increase the number of visits.

Related topics: Greene King

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