Wholesalers who want to see rogue traders prosecuted must be prepared to stand up in court.
That is the message from Customs officials after The Grocer’s reader panel last week revealed that wholesalers unanimously claimed they would be prepared to blow the whistle on illegal gangs who are damaging their businesses.
However, 50% said they would be afraid to provide names for fear of reprisals, indicating that they may be even more unwilling to stand up in court.
A Customs and Excise spokesman welcomed the industry’s support, but warned that securing a conviction could be a long and difficult process.
He said: “We explain to everyone who comes to us with evidence that it might well end up in court. Each case must be viewed on its own merits and we need strong evidence to conduct an investigation.”
However, the spokesman urged wholesalers to continue to supply as much information as they can. “Our operations rely on intelligence. Any information that the trade has, we want to hear it,” he added.