Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Booze Busters Spike Illegal Trade; BEER, WINE AND SPIRITS WERE HEADED FOR BLACK MARKET

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Booze Busters Spike Illegal Trade; BEER, WINE AND SPIRITS WERE HEADED FOR BLACK MARKET

Article excerpt

Byline: ADAM JUPP

STACKED from floor to ceiling, thousands of gallons of illegal alcohol were found when a warehouse was raided.

Customs officers swooped on the unmarked industrial unit, in Brunswick, Newcastle, after receiving intelligence it was being used to store booze due for the region's black market.

Inside, they found more than 8,800 gallons of beers, wines and spirits with an estimated street value of between pounds 60,000 and pounds 100,000.

It is thought some of the alcohol may be counterfeit and could contain dangerous levels of chemicals such as methanol.

Popular brands like Budweiser, Carlsberg, Grolsch, Special Brew, Guinness and Strongbow were all piled high on forklift truck pallets.

Officers also recovered boxes of Glen's Vodka, which had labels stuck on them to give the false impression excise duty had been paid.

It is believed many of the goods had been "diverted" from legitimate bonded warehouses, from where they were due to be exported tax-free.

But instead of being sent overseas, they are sold to shopkeepers for bargain prices. An HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) spokeswoman said: "If you are a local trader who is offered what seems like a 'too good to be true' deal on wines, beers or spirits then you should be wary about what you are buying and from whom.

"Individuals who are offered the chance to buy cheap alcohol at work, at a car boot or market stall, need to think carefully about where the products may have come from, what is in them and if they are really getting a good deal.

"There has been a significant increase in the amount of counterfeit alcohol in this region and we are urging the public to buy from reputable and licensed traders."

HMRC officers spent weeks gathering information about the suspected illegal supply network, operating mainly in Newcastle and Gateshead. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.