Published on July 27th, 2015 | by Dean Carr
Police call for licence review after two Lincolnshire seaside shops sell non-duty alcohol
Illegal non duty paid alcohol was seized from two seaside shops in Ingoldmells in May 2015, which is close to the large popular family holiday resort of Butlins – Skegness. Lincolnshire police have called for a review of both premises licences because they believe the non duty paid alcohol it was smuggled in to the United Kingdom. The dangers of non duty paid or alcohol from outside of the UK can also be harmful to public health as some illegal spirits contain harmful alcohol, or ethanol substitutes such as chemicals used in cleaning fluids, nail polish remover and automobile screen wash, as well as methanol and isopropanol which are used in antifreeze and some fuels. These other types of alcohol can produce similar effects to ethanol in terms of making you feel tipsy. But they are also potentially very dangerous.
East Lindsey District Council licensing committee will decide on whether to suspend or revoke their alcohol licenses at a licence hearing meeting next week.
Warning to the general public
Recent press reports show that criminal gangs are now targeting our seaside towns, especially on the East coast of England, both the police and trading standards officers are asking the public to be vigilant.
Drinking alcohol containing these chemicals can cause nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, drowsiness and dizziness. Drinking it can lead to kidney or liver problems and even coma. Methanol, the substance which has been found in fake vodka can effect the optic nerve and can cause permanent blindness. Alcohol, or ethanol (C2H5OH), is the type used in the production of alcoholic beverages. The other three types, methyl, propyl and butyl alcohol, if consumed can result in blindness and death, even in relatively small doses.
Deaths from drinking fake alcohol
In November 2012 Adam Bohm was found dead in his flat in the seaside town of Worthing, West Sussex and an inquest into his death has revealed that he died from drinking the industrial alcohol. An inquest in to his death at Worthing was told how when the 49-year-old’s flat was searched, three bottles of vodka were found which were believed to be counterfeit and the source of the methanol.
A British backpacker was fatally poisoned in Indonesia when she drank gin that had been mixed with methanol, an inquest has heard. Beautician Cheznye Emmons, 23, of Great Wakering, Essex, was travelling with her boyfriend Joe Cook when she drank the spirit in April last year.
It is not just vodka and spirits that are being faked.
Leading wine brands such as Jacob’s Creek, Echo Falls, Blossom Hill, Kumala and Hardy’s have also been targeted. At the lower end of the scale, criminals are simply inventing the names of vineyards, creating convincing-looking labels and then filling bottles with a mixture of fruit juice and industrial alcohol.
If you spot anything that does not look right or suspect a retailer of selling fake or non duty paid goods, then please report them to your local trading standards office.