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Beijing police crack down on fake booze

16 may 2011, 12:45
REUTERS/Rick Wilking©
REUTERS/Rick Wilking©
Police in Beijing have detained 11 suspects and confiscated more than 10,000 bottles of fake foreign liquor destined for use at the Chinese capital's bars and nightclubs, AFP reports, citing state press Monday.

Police confiscated the fake booze -- including bottles of whisky labelled Chivas, Johnnie Walker and Jack Daniel's -- in raids on six Beijing area manufacturing outlets last week, the Global Times said.

Manufacturers allegedly bottled cheap bulk liquor, or even toxic industrial alcohol such as methanol, into bottles with well-known brand names, the report said.

With an average bottle of phony liquor costing about 10 yuan ($1.50) to produce, manufacturers and nightclubs could rake in major profits by selling the contraband for up to 580 yuan a bottle to customers, the paper said.

"Some fake liquor is adulterated whisky, and some are just mixtures of erguotou (a cheap Chinese grain alcohol) and green tea," the paper quoted Li Jin, a Beijing nightclub employee, as saying.

Fake booze is "pervasive" in Beijing, Li was cited as saying, and up to 90 percent of customers cannot tell the real from the fake.

A wave of tainted food scares has renewed fears in China over continued product-safety problems despite a government promise to clean up the food industry following a deadly 2008 milk scandal.

Tainted pork, toxic milk, dyed buns and other dodgy foods have surfaced in recent months, making consumers ill and highlighting the government's apparent inability to oversee China's huge and under-regulated food industry.

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