Fake Abel & Cole sauce suppliers sentenced in UK

Two men from West Yorkshire in the UK have been convicted of selling counterfeit jars of Abel & Cole cranberry sauce to unsuspecting consumers.

Brothers Irfan Hanif Patel and Mohammed Patel of Dewsbury were sentenced to 120 and 100 hours, respectively, after pleading guilty to trademark and food hygiene offences and failure to register a food business with the authorities.

It emerged during the trial that the counterfeit cranberry sauce was purchased by Irfan Patel who then passed it on to his bother, a director of Stock Up Direct Ltd, which then sold more than 1,000 jars to a wholesaler that went on to supply various food retailers around the country.

The jars were sold around Christmas time when demand was high, and on analysis were found not to be genuine Abel & Cole products despite carrying labels indicating they were made by the company, a long-established organic and seasonal food product retailer.

Trading Standards and local council officers visited both brothers' businesses and found that neither had registered food businesses, so were trading illegally, and had never been inspected to ensure they met required food hygiene standards.

Irfan Patel said the stock was bought from another trader, who visited the premises and produced an invoice for a business which was untraceable. His unit at Bretton Park Way in Dewsbury was found to be storing "large quantities" of food items, but he was unable to provide any documentation to demonstrate the legal provenance of the items and they were all seized.

"The origin was unknown so potentially could be linked to illegal food activities such as bringing food destined for waste back into the food chain," said Kirklees Council in a statement.

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