Huge fake vodka factory raided

An illegal alcohol factory containing 130,000 litres of “potentially toxic” fake vodka has been raided by UK police.

Bottling equipment seized by police at the illegal vodka factory (Photo: HMRC)

Bottling equipment seized by police at the illegal vodka factory (Photo: HMRC)

The distillery, holding illicit alcohol worth £1.7 million in unpaid duty, was uncovered in an industrial unit in Widnes, near Liverpool, on Friday (31st July).

During a joint operation by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), Cheshire Police and Trading Standards, officers seized 130 bulk containers, each containing 1,000 litres of fake vodka produced by two stills.

Authorities also seized counterfeit vodka labels, and bottle tops for “Number 1 Imperial Vodka Blue”.

Sandra Smith, of 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.”

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 Standards.”

Investigations are ongoing.

One Response to “Huge fake vodka factory raided”

  1. Dave Dallas says:

    But really, it is about the revenue.

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