THOUSANDS of litres of counterfeit 'vodka-type' alcohol worth €460,000 has been seized from an Irish farm.
Irish Revenue and An Garda Síochána carried out the search of a premises and farm buildings in Co Louth on Wednesday November 29.
At the site, officers found a large-scale plant, set up to process 'denatured industrial alcohol' which means substance has been added making the mixture unfit for human consumption.
The plant was arranged in a production line system and Revenue officers seized 586 litres of finished ‘vodka’ type product that was bottled, sealed, labelled and boxed, along with 4,000 litres of the raw alcohol product, which would produce in the region of 12,000 litres of ‘vodka’ type spirits.
Revenue seized all the production line apparatus, mixing tank, and containers, along with packaging, bottle caps and labels which were all counterfeit.
A forklift truck, and cash amounts of €5,000 and £1,000 were also seized.
The potential retail value of the alcohol is approximately €460,000, representing a potential loss to the Exchequer of approximately €300,000.
A man was interviewed and investigations are ongoing with a view to prosecution.
A stark warning was also issued to consumers and publicans to only buy from reputable sources as vodka is the most commonly counterfeited alcohol and often contains high quantities of methanol, a poisonous chemical that can cause breathing difficulties, liver damage or blindness; and isopropyl alcohol, a chemical solvent commonly found in nail varnish remover.
These recent seizures are part of Revenue's ongoing operations targeting the supply and sale of illegal and counterfeit alcohol in the shadow economy.