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Man jailed over deadly fake vodka

One man from the West Midlands who used industrial alcohol to make fake vodka that could kill has been jailed today.

Michael Woodlock from West Bromwich was given a 12 month sentence.

The illegal alcohol manufacturing and bottling plant in Birmingham city centre was uncovered by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) officers after they raided a unit. The raid took place six days after five men were killed in an explosion at an illicit vodka distillery in Lincolnshire.

“This was a substantial bottling, production and distribution plant. It was capable of making and distributing large quantities of counterfeit vodka throughout the country, costing the UK taxpayer nearly £500,000 in lost revenue.”

“The crime gang took no precautions to make the environment safe creating a high risk of an explosion and loss of life in their city centre unit. They were fully aware that the counterfeit vodka, which contained dangerous levels of methanol, was unfit to drink. They duped the public into buying what they believed were legitimate goods when in fact the counterfeit vodka could have killed them.”

– Adrian Farley, HMRC

Forensic analysis of the counterfeit vodka showed it contained dangerous levels of methanol which is used in antifreeze, solvent and cleaning fluids.

Two other men Gavin Berrow and Alex Dean Rollerson were each given suspended sentences of four months.