Published on January 12th, 2016 | by Dean Carr
Fake alcohol and cigarette raids on the increase
Since the new year there has been a succession of shops and off licence premises having their alcohol licence revoked for sales of illegal or counterfeit cigarettes and alcohol. The sale of these products is extremely dangerous to public health and it is refreshing to see that police, trading standards officers and council enforcement officers are clamping down on these types of illegal rouge traders.
Over the past few years, there have been a number of deaths and life-changing health problems linked to the £1 billion worth of illegal alcohol now flooding into Britain each year.
It is essential that consumers and retailers alike are aware of this fake alcohol which can be full of harmful chemicals but are being sold as if fit for human consumption. If consumed, illegal alcohol can cause severe illness, vomiting, nausea, coma, and even, blindness. Just 2 milliliters of ethanol which is found in some fake vodka can destroy the optic nerve in seconds, causing blindness.
Fake cigarettes can be equally harmful to public health with some cigarettes containing traces of human excrement, asbestos, mould and even dead flies. People buying cheap cigarettes might think they are getting a great deal but the truth is that they’re not. If they knew what they might contain, they might think twice about buying them.
Fake cigarettes also cost the UK economy about £3 billion pound a year in unpaid duty every year. Recent Council hearings have seen stores being stripped of their licence to sell alcohol as Councilors believed that if a retailer could not promoted the licensing objectives fully regarding age restricted products such as, cigarettes and tobacco then why should they be trusted to sell licensed products such as alcohol.
In a recent licence hearing where a shop licence was revoked in Kingston upon Hull. Licensing Committee Councilor Mr Hodgson He said: “Although we are talking about counterfeit tobacco here, it does not take any great leap of imagination to conclude that, if this man is determined to sell counterfeit tobacco, it would only be a matter of time before he started selling counterfeit alcohol”.
If you believe you have been sold illegal alcohol or know of a retailer selling fake cigarettes or alcohol, you can contact your local Trading Standards at https://www.gov.uk/find-local-trading-standards-
or contact: Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111