A SHOP caught selling counterfeit vodka has been given a formal warning by licensing bosses but has managed to keep hold of its alcohol licence.

East Euro Food Centre in Whetley Lane, Girlington, Bradford, was found to be selling a spirit called Redwood Vodka, which was not vodka at all.

Trading Standards officials seized more than 20 bottles and tested them, only to find the liquid was an industrial alcohol mixed with tap water, and was not fit for human consumption.

At a review of the shop's licence yesterday, trading standards manager David Strover said: "If you were to consume it, I can't say it would kill you.

"But alcohols of this type, when you consume it in large quantities, can cause liver and kidney problems and in extreme cases can cause blindness."

Mr Strover said the alcohol had been bought from a "white van man" who had turned up at the shop. No receipt had been given and the man could not be traced afterwards.

Shop manager Ahmandreza Zaraie and company director Esmaeil Rajabi were both fined in court last year, after pleading guilty to food safety offences, Bradford District Licensing Panel heard at a meeting at City Hall.

Mr Strover said while West Yorkshire Trading Standards had at first wanted the shop stripped of its licence, its main concern now was seeing Mr Zaraie removed as the designated premises supervisor.

Licensing consultant John Cordingley, representing the company, said Mr Zaraie had agreed to step down as premises supervisor.

He said: "The clients have been on a learning curve. Lessons have been followed and all would appear positive going forward."

He added that further allegations - that the shop had been supplying alcohol to minors, and selling other counterfeit alcohol or tobacco products - had been unfounded as the shop had now passed "four or five" test purchase operations.

The licensing panel decided to remove Mr Zaraie as premises supervisor, and impose a number of conditions on the shop's licence, including a stipulation that it should train all its staff on their licensing responsibilities.

Panel chairman, Councillor John Ruding, said the firm was also being given an official warning that if any further breaches of licensing laws were brought to the panel's attention, "serious consideration will be given to removal of the licence".