The production and sale of illegal beer in the UK costs the Treasury around £500million each year. Now it seems the Government is getting tough.

As many as 30 shops in Brighton face losing their alcohol licence after a raid by Revenue and Customs found they were selling non-duty paid beer.

MP Brandon Lewis spoke to Retail Express exclusively this week to say anyone daft enough to sell illegal booze is basically a mug and deserves to get rapped on the knuckles.

Groups like the Federation of Wholesale Distributors are pressing for the introduction of hard-to-copy duty stamps for the top 10 or 15 selling beers, which would make it really hard for smugglers to carry out their nefarious trade. This would really make it easy for hard-pressed retailers to tell whether alcohol being offered at stupidly low prices is ‘kosher’.

Just as a question to retailers, how often do you come into contact with people trying to sell you illegal booze? And what do you think of the FWD’s duty stamp proposals?