A Boston shop described by police as being “actively involved in the illegal sale” of fake vodka has had tougher conditions put on its licence.
Staff at Euro Drinks and Foods will also have to undergo additional training following a decision by the local licensing committee.
Police visited the West Street shop in May after fake and potentially toxic vodka was discovered at a store in Skegness.
Officers were worried that other retailers were selling the illegal brand of Metropolis Vodka, which has been shown to be unfit for human consumption as it contains industrial alcohol.
Sgt Kim Enderby, from the Lincolnshire Police alcohol licensing department, said: “The fake vodka was branded as Metropolis Vodka – previous tests indicated it contained industrial alcohol and was unfit for human consumption.
“None of these products would have been available from a legitimate wholesaler; they are distributed by criminal gangs via the illegal black market.
“The store potentially put the health of its customers at risk, as well as gaining unfair advantage over neighbouring legitimate stores.
“We have since seized more of the illegal vodka at other stores around the county and I would appeal to anyone with information of this nature to contact us. “We remain committed to the disruption, investigation and prosecution of all criminal behaviour being conducted on our licensed premises.”
Boston Borough Council have clarified to The Standard that the vodka found at the store ‘did not contain any toxins’.
They said: “The vodka being sold in the Boston shop was ‘fake’ (counterfeit) in that it was labelled and described as Metropolis Vodka, a branded product, and although it was a vodka it was not Metropolis Vodka.
“The tax stamp on the label indicated production from a factory in Italy, which does produce legitimate products, but doesn’t make Metropolis Vodka. The tax stamp may have been copied from a legitimate product.
“The origin of this vodka is unknown.”
Police say the sub-committee agreed with them that Euro Drinks and Foods were “failing to promote the licensing objectives and that poor management was to blame” – and that stricter conditions have been put on the premises licence and staff will have to undergo extra training.
Sgt Enderby said: “We remain committed to the disruption, investigation and prosecution of all criminal behaviour being conducted on our licensed premises.”
A hearing on the West Street shop was held in front of Boston Borough Council’s licensing sub-committee on Thursday, August 20.
Police say the sub-committee agreed that Euro Drinks and Foods were “failing to promote the licensing objectives and that poor management was to blame”. Stricter conditions were put on the premises licence.
• Shop bosses have 21 days in which to appeal the decision reached.