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Warning After Fake Vodka Seized at Tamworth Off-Licence

Posted by Andy Whiles on September 10, 2011 at 9:20 AM

Tamworth drinkers are being warned to be on their guard after potentially lethal fake vodka was seized from a town off-licence.

Staffordshire County Council’s public protection team removed eight bottles of Arctic Ice Vodka from the unnamed shop – and are already investigating another premises in the town.

Hundreds of bottles of fake booze have been seized across Staffordshire in the last few months and laboratory tests on Arctic Ice have revealed it to contain methanol that can kill or blind and also chloroform and isopropanol, which are both commonly used in cleaning products.

A police spokesman said: “We are currently receiving a high level of reports about counterfeit vodka being sold in premises. Any reports of premises selling Arctic Ice should be immediately forwarded to Trading Standards to that appropriate investigation can be assigned. We now have two separate analyst reports relating to this product and owing to the quantities of methanol, the product is classified as being so contaminated that it is unfit for consumption. Other products that we are currently aware of include Drop Vodka, Blue Booby Vodka, Grand Duke Vodka and Passion Vodka.”

Police have also urged the public to be aware of fake versions of well-known spirits. Signs to look out for include inferior label quality, spelling errors, loose bottle tops and inferior seals as well as the lack of a laser-etched lot code and either no duty stamp, or an incorrect duty stamp.

Counterfeit alcohol sales are a growing problem nationally. Anyone who drinks counterfeit spirits risks serious health problems or even death due to potential toxic chemical and unregulated alcohol content.

A spokesman for Staffordshire County Council said, “Last month, Staffordshire County Council’s public protection team seized eight bottles of Arctic Ice Vodka from an off-licence in Tamworth. Arctic Ice Vodka is not a genuine brand of vodka and does not meet the compositional requirements for it to be called vodka. The county council’s public protection team has gathered further intelligence on another premises in Tamworth suspected of selling counterfeit alcohol and is preparing to proceed with investigation. In the meantime, members of the public are being warned to remain vigilant and to contact the team if they suspect fake alcohol is being sold.”

The county council's public protection team can be contacted on 0300 111 8000.

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