Officers from HMRC have dismantled an in illegal alcohol factory which was discovered producing counterfeit vodka and are investigating the matter with support from Staffordshire Trading Standards.
The factory at a commercial premises near Lichfield in Staffordshire had the capacity to produce up to 150 bottles of vodka per hour, evading an estimated £2.5m in excise duty per year.
Officers found production machinery at the premises, alongside hundreds of bottles of suspected counterfeit Krackoff vodka and tanks that could hold up to 7,000 litres of liquid.
Victoria Wilson, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Trading Standards at Staffordshire County Council said: “Fake and illegal alcohol can be extremely harmful to people’s health and can cause lifelong disabilities. It’s something that our Trading Standards service take very seriously and work hard with partner agencies to tackle.”
Judith Rockett, Assistant Director, Fraud Investigation Service, HMRC, said: “The sale of illegal alcohol will not be tolerated by us or our partner agencies. Disrupting criminal trade is at the heart of our strategy to clamp down on the illicit alcohol market which costs the UK around £1bn per year.
“This is theft from the taxpayer. This crime hurts legitimate businesses and the people that buy the often-dangerous products.”