Bootleg booze seized in Buckingham

Bootleg booze: Trading Standards officer Donna Ward bags up a seized bottle of counterfeit champagne
Bootleg booze: Trading Standards officer Donna Ward bags up a seized bottle of counterfeit champagne

Bottles of bootleg booze have been seized from shops in Buckingham, High Wycombe and Denham.

In a swoop on 18 shops in Bucks, Trading Standards officers seized 29 bottles of counterfeit and grey import champagne, vodka and wine from four shops.

Their raid was part of a joint operation with 10 other local authorities in south east England, targeting 246 shops. Seizures were made at 19 shops. Yesterday, Thursday, Trading Standards officers issued a warning to festive season shoppers to be alert to counterfeit alcohol.

Bucks County Council (BCC) Trading Standards team leader Gina Green said: “Bootleg booze-makers usually add methanol because it’s clear and odourless.

“But after a few hours it can induce severe stomach ache, dizziness, blurred vision, breathing difficulties, and coma.

“What’s more, these concoctions are often created in very unhygienic conditions.”

Ms Green said, although it is not easy to identify counterfeits on the shelves, once opened the smell or taste can give it away.

With grey imports, customers should look for wonky labels and telltale excess glue and compare the fill levels of bottles on the shelf.

Traders have been advised to ensure they ordered stock from trustworthy sources.

Anyone who suspects counterfeits or grey imports are on sale can report it on 08454 040506.