The number of Trading Standards authorities investigating cases of fake booze has rocketed.
Of 100 authorities surveyed by the Intellectual Property Office, 76 reported investigations into fake alcohol in the year to 1 April, against 64 in 2010/2011.
The increase builds on a big jump from 2009/2010, when only 51% of authorities reported alcohol cases. The survey also revealed a 10% increase in the number of Trading Standards authorities reporting fake toiletries and cosmetics, and a 5% rise in cigarette fakes.
“Along with alcohol, there has been a steady increase over the past three years in cigarettes, tobacco, toiletries and cosmetics and some increase in clothing,” said the IPO. “This highlights the concerning trend of counterfeit consumable products.”
Just last week, HM Revenue & Customs officers arrested a 27-year-old man from Solihull on suspicion of storing and selling illicit alcohol and evading £468,000 of excise duty. Around 300,000 litres of suspected non-UK duty paid alcohol was seized.