Harmful fake vodka seized at Stratford supermarket

Chemicals in vodka were ‘potentially dangerous’

Harmful fake vodka has been seized in a council swoop on a Stratford off-licence, it is revealed.

THe booze - five bottles from a record haul by Newham trading watchdogs -

was laced with isopropanol - a product often used in cleaning fluids, anti-freeze and as a solvent.

Others contained tertiary-Butanol that is used to make alcohol suitable for industrial use.

“It was potentially dangerous,” said a council spokesman.

The off-licence has not been identified for legal reasons as it faces prosecution, he added.

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The full-sized bottles, labelled ‘Drop’ and ‘Roca’ vodka, were selling for �6.99 – less than half what they would retail for if they were legal.

It is believed the bottles were made in illegal factories in Eastern Europe and smuggled across the channel.

Newham Council’s Ian Corbett, Executive Member for Infrastructure and Environment, said: “Crime and anti social behaviour in any form is totally unacceptable and make no mistake this is crime. We simply won’t stand for it.

“This illegal alcohol is a risk to people’s health and it has not been properly produced. Anyone who is suspicious should contact our officers immediately.

“The criminals behind this scam also rip off the tax payer by not paying duty.”

The council said counterfeit alcohol tends to be rebottled wine - where cheaper wine is poured into a more expensive bottle. Fake alcohol is often made in illegal factories in the UK as well as abroad. Alcohol fraud costs the UK around �1bn a year in lost revenue, according to government estimates.

Shoppers are being advised to watch out for tell tale signs of illegality:

spelling mistakes on the label; bottles of the same product look different, bottles not filled to same level and label not straight.

Members of the public spotting these items should immediately contact Consumer Direct on 01622 626520 or www.consumerdirect.gov.uk