In the English city of Sheffield, security officers and public health programs are seeing an increase in illegal bottles of counterfeit alcohol.
In the 2011 to 2012 fiscal year, officials in the city seized 554 bottles of counterfeit alcohol. In the 2012-2013 fiscal year, the number of fake bottles seized increased to 1,470. Halfway through the 2013-2014 fiscal year, authorities have already seized 2,370 bottles of counterfeit alcohol.
Most of the fake alcohol bottles are marketed as Vodka. After studying the bottles, Trading Standards officials have determined that most of the alcohol that is used in the fake bottles are either cleaning fluids or antifreeze. With the other chemicals, the fake bottles of vodka end up being made of 57 percent alcohol.
Sheffield is not the only city in the United Kingdom facing threats from counterfeit alcohol. In Scotland, security services with HMRC seized 13,000 liters of counterfeit vodka in September 2013 alone.
Security experts state that price is a main cause for the counterfeits. For a single 70cl bottle of vodka, the duty and VAT is $14.52 (£8.89).
Source: Brian Milligan, “Fake vodka ‘can kill you’ warning to Christmas shoppers,” BBC News, December 20, 2013.