News Counterfeit drinks

Published on November 5th, 2012 | by Dean Carr

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New liquor labels after fake alcohol deaths in Eastern Europe

The Czech Republic has issued new labeling for spirits sold within the country after a health crisis caused by unsafe counterfeit alcohol.

Tuzemak-branded bootlegged spirits, largely cheap rum and vodka, have been at the centre of methanol poisonings. The first deaths attributed to the liquor occurred in early September. Since then, at least 89 people have been hospitalised, some of whom are reported to have suffered visual impairment. On Friday, the death toll rose to 30.

The Czech government reacted promptly in September, banned domestic sales and exports of liquors (20% ABV or above). Liquor sales have been gradually reintroduced with updated labels. Among those accused in the scandal is Likerka Drak, a liquor producer.

A third of the world’s alcohol is estimated to come from illicit production. Retailers should be aware of the serious dangers to health associated with counterfeit alcohol and should always reject ‘dodgy’ stock. Read more about stock control in Recognising UK Duty Stamps.

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About the Author

Dean Carr

Dean has been involved in alcohol licensing for over 20 years and has helped many independent retailers and corporate clients obtain a licence to sell alcohol or offer late night refreshment, regulated entertainment from all sorts of premises. Dean writes articles for various trade related blogs and is currently Managing Director of the PLT group of companies who run APLH and SCPLH personal alcohol licence courses nationwide. You can contact Dean or a member of his expert licensing team on: 01242 222 188



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