Drinkers who buy illicit alcohol have been warned they could be playing Russian roulette with their health.
The advice comes after a kebab shop operator was handed a suspended jail term after being caught selling illegal vodka at his premises in Hastings.
Ceyhun Varol was brought to justice following reports a woman had become unwell after drinking vodka bought at Erol’s Kebab and Steak House, in Queens Road on Good Friday last year.
Trading Standards officers seized two cases of counterfeit Smirnoff vodka and three bottles of Drop Vodka, an illegal brand which has in other parts of the country been found to contain industrial alcohol used in anti-freeze.
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Varol, 33, admitted possessing and selling illicit alcohol and was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, in a hearing at Lewes Crown Court, on March 28.
East Sussex County Council lead member for economy, Rupert Simmons, said: “This sentence sends out a clear message that sale of illegal alcohol will not be tolerated and offenders will be pursued through the courts.
“If you buy illegal alcohol you’re playing Russian roulette with your health because as it is not subject to the usual stringent checks and safeguards, there’s no way of knowing what it might contain.
“We would encourage anyone who sees Drop Vodka on sale, or has suspicions about other brands of alcohol being sold, to help us combat this menace by reporting their concerns.”
Anyone with concerns about the authenticity or safety of alcohol on sale can call the Citizens Advice consumer service on 08454 040506.