Advertising

Customs officers in bootleg whisky raid

News | Published:

Plastic bottles full of a bootleg scotch whisky called Highland Piper have been found in an illegal distillery in the Black Country.Plastic bottles full of a bootleg scotch whisky called Highland Piper have been found in an illegal distillery in the Black Country. A father and son aged 65 and 23 have been arrested for operating the illegal distillery in Wednesbury, where animal feed was used as a substitute to grain. Working throughout the night trading customs officers seized and dismantled four illegal stills, and uncovered nearly 200 litres of alcohol in 33 boxes at the house in Holloway Bank in the town. Each box contained six plastic one litre bottles full of the concoction labelled Highland Piper. John Theobald, senior investigation officer for HM Revenue & Customs said: "This bootleg whisky was most likely destined for sale on the West Midlands black market. As well as being a serious form of criminality, disturbingly, animal feed had been used as a substitute to grain as part of the distilling process." Read the full story in the Express & Star

Plastic bottles full of a bootleg scotch whisky called Highland Piper have been found in an illegal distillery in the Black Country.

A father and son aged 65 and 23 have been arrested for operating the illegal distillery in Wednesbury, where animal feed was used as a substitute to grain.

Working throughout the night trading customs officers seized and dismantled four illegal stills, and uncovered nearly 200 litres of alcohol in 33 boxes at the house in Holloway Bank in the town.

Each box contained six plastic one litre bottles full of the concoction labelled Highland Piper.

John Theobald, senior investigation officer for HM Revenue & Customs said: "This bootleg whisky was most likely destined for sale on the West Midlands black market. As well as being a serious form of criminality, disturbingly, animal feed had been used as a substitute to grain as part of the distilling process.

"The risks posed to those drinking it would have been totally unquantifiable.

"Members of the public tempted to purchase cheap counterfeit alcohol have no idea what these illegal spirits may contain, which could potentially damage their health or even prove fatal.

"Illegally manufactured alcohol is unregulated and unlicensed and once on the streets could have been sold to under age children and young people." The operation was a joint initiative with Sandwell Trading Standards, whose officers also seized a considerable number of counterfeit DVDs in the raid, overnight last Wednesday.

Advertising

All are believed to be latest releases and copying equipment was also seized.

Investigations are ongoing pending criminal prosecutions, but the men have not yet been charged.

Councillor Mahboob Hussain, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and housing at Sandwell Council, said: "Trading Standards will be investigating both of these matters, the whisky and the counterfeit DVDs further, in co-operation with Customs and Excise, and if appropriate formal action will be taken.

"At the moment we are concentrating on determining if the whisky is injurious to health.

Advertising

"I would ask anybody who knows they have purchased any of this product not to drink it and to contact their local trading standards service. "It's called Highland Piper and is in one litre plastic bottles with a blue cap."

HMRC are encouraging people with information relating to illegally imported goods or tax evasion and fraud to contact its confidential hotline .

They can be reached by calling 0800 59 5000 or, alternatively you can also contact them via email at customs.confidential@hmrc.gsi.gov.uk

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Advertising

Top Stories

Advertising

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News