Shop Caught Selling '150,000x' Strength Vodka 'Unfit For Human Consumption'
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A shop has had its Alcohol Premises Licence revoked after it was found to be selling illicit vodka containing 150,000 times more industrial alcohol than is legally permitted.
Zabka in Lincoln was raided on 9 December which was when the vodka - that was marketed under the name 'Krackoff' - was found. The store was also selling illegal medicine.
A number of different premises were raided on or around Portland Street in Lincoln, but when officers went into Zabka, they seized more than 190 illegal medicine products, 62 bottles of non-duty paid alcohol and five bottles of illicit Krackoff Vodka.
The Krackoff Vodka was sent for testing and was found to contain 150,000 times more industrial alcohol than is legally permitted and was a totally illicit product. Anyone that may have bought a bottle from the store is being advised to contact the police.
On 11 February, a hearing was held in front of Lincoln City Council Licensing Sub-Committee. After hearing all the evidence, the committee agreed with the police that the premises had been found to have illegal alcohol and medicine products on sale.
Due to the seriousness of this, the committee believed the owner was failing to promote the licensing objectives and the Alcohol Premises Licence was revoked.
Sergeant Kim Enderby from the Alcohol Licensing Department said: "The fake Vodka was branded as Krackoff Vodka, test indicated it contained industrial alcohol and was unfit for human consumption.
"If anyone sees or has bought this particular product they should contact the police or trading standards. This is the first known seizure of this particular illicit brand on mainland Britain and we are working with the Food Standards Agency to trace its origins.
"Other brands seized were genuine but paying duty on them had been avoided. None of these products would have been available from a legitimate wholesaler; they are distributed by criminal gangs via the illegal black market. Alongside the alcohol we seized were a large amount of foreign branded medicines on sale.
"We seized 190 packets, some of which proved to be prescription only products in the UK and should have only been available from a pharmacy. The store potentially put the health of its customers at risk, as well as gaining unfair advantage over neighbouring legitimate stores."
Sergeant Enderby continued: "The owner Mr Ali claimed all the alcohol was for personal use and that he did not know the medicines were illegal. He told the committee that the medicines were purchased off an unknown male who came to his store.
"He displayed a lack of knowledge of his responsibilities within the Licensing Act and the committee believed he presented a risk to promoting the Licensing Objectives.
"We remain committed to the disruption, investigation and prosecution of all criminal behaviour being conducted on our licensed premises."