Northern Ireland cracks down on fake booze6th December, 2013 by Amy Hopkins
Northern Ireland’s Trading Standards Service has launched a campaign to tackle counterfeit alcohol over the festive period.
Titled “Booze Control”, the campaign will see the Trading Standard’s inspectors visit on-trade establishments across the region over the Christmas holiday in order to minimise the sale of fake spirits.
The “Booze Control” campaign will also be supported by information about the health risks of consuming fake alcohol, as well as the legal risks of selling it.
A spokesperson for the Trading Standards Service said: “The dangers of consuming counterfeit alcohol are all too real. Fake alcohol has been known to contain toxic substances such as methanol, more commonly used in antifreeze, drain cleaner and paint stripper.
“This can have devastating effects on the consumer’s health by damaging internal organs and nervous systems, causing dizziness, blindness and in extreme cases even death.”
The “Booze Control” campaign follows the recent announcement by data agency PwC that Northern Ireland is the UK’s “counterfeit alcohol capital” outside of London.
The UK government itself also recently published a consultation paper looking at ways of combating the sale and production of fake alcohol, which authorities claim costs the government £1.2 billion in lost taxes a year.