AN operation has been launched to crack down on the sale of counterfeit booze.

Tendring Council officers joined forces with Trading Standards to carry out spot checks on off licenses and supermarkets around the district.

It is a pre-emptive strike in the face of fake spirits, wines, champagnes and beers being discovered on shop shelves around the country.

Paul Honeywood, interim leader of Tendring Council said fake alcohol is sometimes sold deliberately and sometimes unwittingly by shops.

He said: “Fortunately none of the shops, supermarkets or off-licences that were checked in our area as part of this operation were found with fake booze and this is exactly the responsible retailing we would expect."

Anyone with suspicions of counterfeit alcohol being sold should contact Essex Trading Standards on 0845 4040506 or Tendring Council on 01255 686595.