One in five stores has alcohol seized
One in five off-licences targeted by Trading Standards officers in Warwickshire was selling alcohol suspected to be fake or illicit.
Thirty-four stores were selected at random in Nuneaton, Bedworth, Rugby, Kenilworth and Stratford upon Avon.
Officers seized 175 bottles of spirits from seven off-licences. Stratford was the only town where nothing suspicious was found.
Some of the bottles were believed to be fake, and many were suspected to have evaded duty, with false back labels or fake duty stamps.
Bottles that were seized bore labels including High Commissioner Scotch whisky, and Danoff, Glens and Chekov vodka.
Warwickshire councillor Richard Hobbs said: “Fake alcohol has the potential to be very harmful and businesses selling these illegal products put the health of consumers at risk. Criminal gangs risk their own lives by running illegal distilleries and the public could end up purchasing full priced bottles that contain industrial solvents.
“We will continue to crack down on the trade in illegal alcohol that also puts the livelihoods of genuine traders at risk.”
Investigations are continuing and prosecutions may follow.