Council secures prosecution over counterfeit vodka sales in Southport

6th November 2021

Sefton Council’s Legal Team has gained a successful prosecution after a Southport business was found to be selling vodka deemed unfit for human consumption.

At Sefton Magistrates Court on Wednesday, District Judge Boswell found defendant, Mr Wojtek Lazarz guilty of two charges, and the company, Smakus Foods Limited, guilty of one.

Mr Lazarz was fined £1,450 and Smakus Foods Limited, £1,050, while Sefton Council received £1,000 towards its costs.

After suspected sales of counterfeit vodka were reported in Southport in 2019, Southport, Sefton Council’s Environmental Health team began an investigation.

They liaised with the makers of Glen’s Vodka, which was how the alcohol was being sold, who told the team how to identify the counterfeit bottles, which were found on sale in several locations.

Mr Lazarz’s unhelpful approach when questioned about the counterfeit alcohol led to the Council’s decision to taking legal action.

Cllr Paulette Lappin, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services, said:

“Selling fake alcohol that could have a serious effect on people’s health is an extremely serious matter and the Foods Standards Agency has made it a national priority of their work.

“I am, therefore, delighted that the Council’s Environmental Health and Legal Services teams have successfully carried out this investigation and prosecution as part of their work to protect local people and prevent this dangerous activity.”

Anyone who suspects dangerous or counterfeit alcohol is on sale can contact the Council’s Environmental Health team at or by calling the Council’s Contact Centre on 0845 140 0345.

Cllr Paulette Lappin added:

“Events like this in Sefton are not common but I would anyone who notices anything suspicious to contact us so that we can investigate and take action.”