Farm Ireland

Thursday 22 March 2018

Pictures: Gardai seize 586 litres of illicit 'vodka' in swoop on production plant on Louth farm

Stock picture
Stock picture
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Revenue officers, assisted by the Garda Armed Support Unit from Dundalk, carried out a search under warrant of a premises and farm buildings in Co Louth where they found a large-scale plant, set up to process denatured industrial alcohol.

The plant was arranged in a production line system and Revenue officers seized 586 litres of finished ‘vodka’ type product that was bottled, sealed, labelled and boxed, along with 4,000 litres of the raw alcohol product, which would produce in the region of 12,000 litres of ‘vodka’ type spirits.

Revenue seized all the production line apparatus, mixing tank, and containers, along with packaging, bottle caps and labels which were all counterfeit.

A forklift truck, and cash amounts of €5,000 and £1,000 were also seized. The potential retail value of the alcohol is approximately €460,000, representing a potential loss to the Exchequer of approximately €300,000.

A man was interviewed and investigations are ongoing with a view to prosecution.

Revenue would like to remind anyone tempted to buy cheap alcohol, tobacco or consumer goods from an irregular source of supply that there is a high possibility that they are buying counterfeit goods.

Publicans and consumers should only purchase alcohol from reputable sources of supply. 

Vodka is the most commonly counterfeited alcohol and often contains high quantities of methanol, a poisonous chemical that can cause breathing difficulties, liver damage or blindness;  and isopropyl alcohol, a chemical solvent commonly found in nail varnish remover.

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These recent seizures are part of Revenue's ongoing operations targeting the supply and sale of illegal and counterfeit alcohol in the shadow economy.

If businesses or members of the public have any information regarding the smuggling or sale of illegal or counterfeit alcohol, they can contact Revenue in confidence on free phone number 1800 295 295.

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