Fake alcohol including bogus Bollinger champagne seized across Redbridge
Fake bottles of Bollinger champagne which retail at �40 each were just some of the items seized last year in Redbridge by Trading Standards.
The number of fake alcohol seizures in the borough doubled in 2011 compared to the previous year.
During last year 13 seizures were made, with up to �1,425 of counterfeit alcohol confiscated. In 2010 five seizures were made.
A total of 67 bottles of wine were seized including five bottles of Bollinger champagne, and a further 37 bottles of spirits.
Two court cases have been initiated against two businesses, one for selling counterfeit wine which resulted in a caution and the other for selling fake spirits which is still being processed.
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A Redbridge Council spokesman said: “If you have purchased a bottle that you suspect to be counterfeit, do not drink it.
“Industrial chemicals such as methanol or isopropyl alcohol has been found in counterfeit spirits and can be extremely hazardous to human health.”
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Last year two seizures were each made in Mayfield, Goodmayes, Fullwell, Aldborough and Clayhall wards.
Seizures were also made in Barkingside, Church End, Fairlop and Seven Kings wards.
The seizures were made in a joint operation by Redbridge Police, Redbridge Council and HM Customs.
A police spokesman said: “This operation dealt with duty avoidance that is spirits intended for export diverted back into the UK market and relabelled with fake labelling.
“The operation has been continued by the local authority trading standards, targeting counterfeit spirits.”
Things to look for if you are suspicious about the authenticity of a bottle of alcohol include poor spelling such as writing “Biossom Hill” instead of ‘Blossom Hill’ and the wrong spelling of countries such as Australia.
Counterfeits are often made using industrial alcohol which smells similar to nail varnish remover as it contains acetone.
Spirits are sometimes diluted with water which causes it to turn cloudy or contain small particles in the liquid after being shaken.
Wine is often diluted with grape juice giving it a bade taste.
If you are suspicious that you may have bought a counterfeit bottle contact Trading Standards.