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Counterfeit alcohol found on sale in Bucks
TRADING Standards officer swooped on businesses selling bootleg booze in Denham and other places around Buckinghamshire.
The team went to 18 shops across the county, finding 29 bottles of counterfeit and 'grey import' alcohol at four different locations.
The action was part of a joint operation with 10 other local authorities in South East England, which targeted 246 shops in total, with seizures being made at 19 of them.
The officers are now sending out a warning about the dangers of buying counterfeit alcohol.
Bucks County Council's 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."
She also said that although it is not easy for people to identify counterfeits on the shelves, once opened the smell or taste of the drinks could give it away.
Other tell-tale signs of counterfeit booze are labels on bottles put on incorrectly, as well as excess glue, and also the fill levels of the bottles.
Grey import goods are those sold through unofficial channels, usually at an artificially low price.
As well as Denham, counterfeit alcohol was found on sale in High Wycombe and Buckingham.
Bucks County Council's cabinet member for community engagement Martin Phillips said: "I have the greatest confidence in our Trading Standards teams who act speedily in their fight against counterfeits that could be dangerous to our residents."
Anyone who suspects bootleg alcohol or grey imports are on sale can report it by calling 08454 040506.
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