HMRC to target fake alcohol retailers

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is to carry out raids on shops across the UK suspected of selling counterfeit alcohol.

A pilot scheme at stores in Peterborough, Newcastle, Boston, in Lincolnshire, and St Albans, Herts has already led to a number of prosecutions, with 16 outlets having their alcohol or cigarette licence revoked or suspended.

HMRC says it will target shops serving foreign communities, often owned by non-UK nationals.

In some cases during the pilot scheme, fake vodka was found to contain isopropyl alcohol, a chemical found in cleaning fluids.

One shop owner in Boston said he was sold five cases of vodka on his doorstep, which were then found to contain isopropyl.

Last month five men died in an explosion at an illegal distillery in Boston.

Police confirmed that the industrial unit was being used to produce counterfeit vodka.

Officers said the premises at the Broadfield Industrial Estate housed a “filtration plant that was being used for the production of illicit alcohol being distributed and sold as vodka”.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

We encourage debate in the comments section and always welcome feedback, but if you spot something you don't think is right, we ask that you leave an accurate email address so we can get back to you if we need to.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Champagne Masters 2019

View Results

Rioja Masters 2019

View Results

Click to view more

Subscribe today to get each issue of The Drinks Business as soon as it's published, plus all the latest breaking news and access to our library of back issues.

Subscribe Today!

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

Stay up-to-date with the latest news about the international spirits industry every weekday lunchtime (GMT)