Belfast club fined over ‘fake’ Smirnoff

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A north Belfast social club has been fined a total of £300 after passing off unidentified vodka as the premium Smirnoff brand.

The offences were detected when inspectors visited the Shamrock Sports and Social Club at Flax Street in the Ardoyne area.

Pacemaker Press 22/5/2013  Laganside Court Building  in Belfast City centre  Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Pacemaker Press 22/5/2013 Laganside Court Building in Belfast City centre Pic Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker

Alcohol was sampled at the club on November 19, 2015 as part of Operation OPSON – a Europol and Interpol led initiative against fake and illicit food worldwide that Belfast City Council took part in last year.

Five separate samples of ‘Smirnoff’ vodka were found to be adulterated, containing different alcohol levels than genuine Smirnoff, and lacking special markers detectable in genuine Smirnoff produced for the UK market.

The club secretary was prosecuted for the five offences, and for one additional offence of failing to provide specific details regarding who supplied the alcohol.