On the evening of 11 September 2012 officers of the West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service visited Bed nightclub in Leeds as a result of a complaint that the premises was selling counterfeit vodka.
The officers found 656 litres of fake spirit labelled as “Premium vodka”, which the manager had just removed from sale that evening as a result of customer complaints.
The drink was tested by the West Yorkshire Public Analyst and found to contain isopropanol, tertiary butanol and chloroform. All the bottles were subsequently seized by Trading Standards officers.
The investigations revealed that the drink was obtained through a broker as a “cash deal”, arranged through the head office of Gatecrasher Clubs and Bars, which is based in Sheffield. The case against the supplier was adjourned until 13 September 2013.
Trading standards committee
Councillor Val Slater, chair of the trading standards committee, said: “This is West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service’s biggest seizure yet of fake vodka. I am astounded that a nightclub operator could have such scant regard for public safety by buying drink in this manner.
"It is fortunate that the manager acted quickly and no-one was harmed. Adequate checks were not carried out on the product before it was put on sale and the unusually low price and basic packaging should have raised suspicions. Fake alcohol is a growing problem and the public should be on their guard because of its potentially toxic nature.
The Gatecrasher nightclub business has undergone a pre-pack administration after finding itself unable to pay its debts.