Fake Alcohol Branded As Expensive Whiskey Worth $1 Billion Sold At Australia's Bars Under Police Radar

'Potentially dangerous alcohol' is being sold at bars, nightclubs, and music festivals in Australia's Victoria. A new investigation has surfaced exposing that an underground racket of spiked spirits worth over $1 billion has connections to 80 major servers including some big clubs. The report quotes Victoria Police, who said that its officers bought vodka at pubs that smelled like methylated spirits.
Alcohol

The cops in Australia's Victoria are concerned about the growing illegal liquor trade market. | Representational Image

'Potentially dangerous alcohol' is being sold at bars, nightclubs, and music festivals in Australia's Victoria. A new investigation has surfaced exposing that an underground racket of spiked spirits worth over $1 billion has connections to 80 major servers including some big clubs. The report quotes Victoria Police, who said that its officers bought vodka at pubs that smelled like methylated spirits.
According to The Age, the cops are currently investigating the illegal bootleggers' business that omits taxes worth $700K to pay for goods sold under the Alcohol category. The head of Victoria's State Liquor Unit, Senior Sergeant Dave Sheppard termed the situation, “is quite scary and the public needs to be warned”.
It was discovered during the investigation that a specific nightclub in the state had been labeling empty bottles with premium whisky labels while decanting counterfeit spirits, the senior cop told the outlet. The cops were able to unearth a secret room in one of the unidentified nightclubs where decanting of the fake product was done by pouring the fake liquor into empty bottles branded as top-shelf whiskies.
Sheppard believes that the impact of counterfeit spirits has a direct impact on consumers. “This is because the drinks are all unfit for human consumption and can cause serious illness or death”, according to the Australian Tax Office. The substitution racket operates by blending dangerous industrial alcohol into whisky, vodka, and other top-shelf spirits to reach a larger customer base.
“The ATO is obviously concerned about the tax leakage and the unfair impact on businesses that do the right thing, as well as the broader community threats, including the health and safety risks inherent in the consumption of illegally manufactured alcohol,” The Age further quoted an ATO Illicit Alcohol Team spokesperson as saying. He added the list of bootleggers included well-established companies in the booze market. Moreover, an official from law enforcement informed in the report that it was estimated that about 2.4 million bottles of counterfeit alcohol were used to reach customers till the last year.
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