Police step up their search for counterfeit booze

Unit eight at the broadfield lane industrial estate, Still bordered off a week and a half later.
Unit eight at the broadfield lane industrial estate, Still bordered off a week and a half later.

POLICE have stepped up their hunt for counterfeit alcohol - in a bid to clamp down on illegal activity in the wake of the explosion which shocked Boston.

Chief Insp Lee Pache told The Standard officers were ferociously seeking intelligence on any activity relating to illegal alcohol, in order to try to ensure a similar incident did not take place again.

Two weeks ago five Lithuanian nationals died when an illegal vodka distillery they were working at exploded.

A sixth man remains critically ill in hospital after suffering 75 per cent burns to his body.

An appeal has gone out for members of the public to contact police if they have any information, and several other measures have also been imposed.

Chief Insp Pache said the current work followed on from an operation earlier in the year, which resulted in several shops selling counterfeit vodka having their licences revoked.

He said: “We were part of an operation back in March to deal with counterfeit alcohol in Boston.

“We were looking for where the alcohol was being produced, where it was coming from and where it was being sold.

“Clearly there was an issue in Boston and clearly we were aware of it.

“We are appealing for anyone who has any information to contact us. We will react.”

Several people have already contacted police with information about other operations in the area, which have been investigated.

Boston Borough Council has also joined with police to clamp down on illicit production.

Coun Peter Bedford, leader of the authority, said: “I would urge all who live in the borough to act as good citizens and do their duty as responsible residents and report to the police anything they hear which could avoid repetition of an awful event such as this.”

Last week police and Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) seized bottles of alcohol from the still which, had been set up in the unit where five men were found dead after the explosion.

Although police would not reveal the amount of alcohol to be taken away from the site, people who work on nearby units on the Broadfield Lane site said they saw ‘pallet after pallet after pallet’ taken away from the site.

A police spokesman confirmed that more than one van was used to transport the haul away from the site. All bottles were labelled as vodka.