Takeaway Zorbas 4 stripped of licence to sell alcohol

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A kebab house has had its alcohol licence revoked after counterfeit vodka was found during an inspection by trading standards officers.

South Kesteven District Council’s alcohol and entertainment licensing committee met on Friday last week to review the premises licence of Zorbas 4 in Broad Street, Stamford.

The committee heard Trading Standards officers and police had inspected the takeaway in May and found two bottles of counterfeit Smirnoff vodka and five bottles of Vodka Extra with invalid duty stamps.

Analysis of the Smirnoff showed it contained iso-propanol, which is used in cleaning fluids and is unfit for human consumption.

The committee also heard that the lack of a valid duty stamp suggested UK duty had not been paid on the five bottles of Vodka Extra.

Zorbas 4 licence holder Caner Kaya told the committee he was not at the shop when the counterfeit vodka was found due to personal issues.

He said he had left management of the shop to his brother and a friend. The friend said he could get cheaper alcohol from his uncle, who owned a supermarket.

Mr Kaya said he had previously bought alcohol for his shop at a cash and carry and was not aware the vodka bought from the friend’s uncle was counterfeit.

In his closing statement to the committee, Mr Kaya said he had trusted the wrong people to manage his premise and that he should have paid more attention to what was going on.

After hearing the evidence from both sides, councillors decided to revoke the alcohol licence for Zorbas 4.

Ian Newell, of Lincolnshire Trading Standards, said: “Counterfeit vodka can contain all sorts of things that are harmful to health, such as industrial alcohol, which is often used for cleaning fluid or solvents.

“That’s why we continue to work closely with our partners in the police and HMRC to remove these products from sale.”

Zorbas 4 manager Cihan Kaya said he was disappointed with the decision to revoke the alcohol licence.

He said he would appeal the decision.