Judge orders firm to pour away 37,000 pints of lager

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A wholesaler has been ordered to pour away thousands of pints of lager after failing to pay duty to the tax man.

More than 37,000 pints were made subject to a condemnation order by a judge following an application from customs officers.

It is the second time action has been taken against AG Peters, which has a warehouse on Bristol Avenue , Bispham.

Last July the 18,000 bottles of wine worth £155,000, were seized from the warehouse and destroyed by customs officers.

The firm had failed to pay £2 duty on each bottle of wine.

Yesterday’s destruction order was granted by District Judge Margaret McCormack sitting at Blackpool Magistrates Court.

The order involves thousands of cans and bottles of Carling, Fosters, Stella, Kronenburg, Carlsberg and Budweiser will be poured down the drains.

AG Peters supplies retailers across the UK and also has a warehouse in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire.

Last year customs officers raided both warehouses simultaneously.

A total of 1,100 cases of wine were seized from the Blackpool warehouse, including famous names such as Paul Masson, Echo Falls, Blossom Hill, Hardy’s and J.P. Chenet.

Checks revealed that duty had been paid on the wine when it was imported into the UK.

However, when it was re exported to Holland the duty was repaid by the Government under a system called “drawback”. Stickers on the pallet revealed that the duty had been repaid.

However, the pallet returned re-appeared in Britain where it was due to be marketed.

Customs and Excise had been involved in a long term investigation into tax evasion on imported wines.

It revealed that imported consignments could be handled by up to five wine brokers before it went on public sale.

No-one was available for comment at AG Peters.