Independent retailers who buy cheap alcohol from illegitimate wholesalers are putting their businesses at risk because HM Revenue and Customs has added new powers and extra resources to its fight against duty fraud.


James Bielby, Federation of Wholesale Distributors chief executive, warned: "Small store owners who find themselves tempted by suspiciously low prices, particularly for beer, should know they are playing roulette with their business’ future. The penalties for avoiding duty are severe and the chances of being caught out are increasing."