Counterfeit vodka seized from Chelmsford nightclub

Chelmsford Weekly News: Some of the bottles containing counterfeit vodka at Candy Club in Chelmsford Some of the bottles containing counterfeit vodka at Candy Club in Chelmsford

NIGHTCLUB owners have been warned to stock legitimate alcohol after the largest ever seizure of dodgy booze in Essex.

Trading Standards officers found 236 bottles, totalling 3,752 shots, of bootleg vodka at Candy Club in Barrack Square, Chelmsford, following a raid on October 25.

Despite having Smirnoff labels the drink was not the same brand and had an alcoholic content lower than 37.5 per cent, the minimum standard for vodka.

Tests on the alcohol contained in the bottles which had been bought from the back of a van outside the club found it to be industrial strength.

On Tuesday, Geoffrey Livesey, director of the venue’s parent company Mohito Limited, pleaded guilty at Chelmsford Magistrates’ Court to breaking food trading regulations.

The 59-year-old of Inchbonnie Road, South Woodham Ferrers, was sentenced to 250 hours unpaid work.

His company was also fined £10,000 and told to pay £6358.66 towards legal costs.

Bosses from Trading Standards said they would crackdown on anyone selling counterfeit hooch with proactive inspections planned.

Operational manager Peter Stratton said: “Club bosses and alcohol retailers have a duty of care for their customers.

“If they have not had that alcohol supplied from a properly identified source, then the drink could have absolutely anything in it.

“Luckily in this case nobody was hurt by this drink, but the people making the vodka will not have cared about those drinking it.

“They will put whatever they can in it and just want to get the bottles filled and out of there.”

In September last year, 19 clubbers in the Czech Republic died after drinking dodgy rum and vodka shots containing industrial strength chemicals.

An order was made to destroy the confiscated vodka.

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