Fake vodka factory found in
AN illegal alcohol factory, containing
130,000 litres of potentially toxic fake vodka, worth £1.7 million in unpaid
duty, was uncovered in an industrial unit, in Widnes, on Friday, 31 July 2015.
During a joint operation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), Cheshire Police and
Trading Standards, officers seized:-
► 130 x 1,000 litre IBCs (intermediate bulk containers) believed to contain
alcohol from two interconnected stills,
► suspected counterfeit vodka labels
► bottle tops for number 1 Imperial Vodka Blue.
Sandra Smith, Assistant Director, Criminal
Investigation, HMRC, said:- "As well as potentially risking the lives of
people drinking the fake alcohol, this factory had the capacity to rob taxpayers
of millions of pounds in unpaid duty; money which should be spent on vital
public services. People buying the counterfeit vodka may have thought they were
getting a bargain, but it has been distilled in unregulated conditions and may
pose a serious health risk. We will continue to work in partnership with
other law enforcement agencies such as the police and Trading Standards to
tackle the issue of illicit alcohol in our communities and across the UK. I ask
anyone with information about this dangerous illegal trade to call the Customs
Hotline on 0800 59 5000 and help us stamp it out."
Cheshire Police Detective Chief Inspector Paul
Beauchamp said:- "We carried out a warrant at a business premises under
the misuse of drugs act and discovered this illegal operation on our doorstep.
We are pleased that we have helped to take this dangerous counterfeit vodka off
the streets and are continuing to work with our colleagues in HMRC and Trading
Investigations are ongoing.