Liquor association warns of fake booze after massive bottle cap robbery

05 January 2021 - 12:00
Thousands of bottle caps were stolen from an alcohol production facility on December 30, two days into the current alcohol sales ban during level 3 lockdown. Stock photo.
Thousands of bottle caps were stolen from an alcohol production facility on December 30, two days into the current alcohol sales ban during level 3 lockdown. Stock photo.
Image: 123RF/Vladislavs Gorniks

The SA Liquor Brandowners Association (Salba) has warned the public to avoid illegal booze after an armed robbery at one of its member company’s production facility in Durban.

According to the association, thousands of bottle caps were stolen at its facility on December 30, two days into the current alcohol sales ban during level 3 lockdown.

“One of the illicit alcohol practices is to refill used, branded bottles with illegal alcohol, reseal them and sell that to consumers. This practice poses a major health risk to consumers.”

Mngadi urged law enforcement agencies to be rigorous in dealing with illegal alcohol sales and the production of counterfeit products.

“Total prohibition of all formal sales poses the risk of growing the network of alcohol smugglers who respond to the current environment of unmet consumer demand for alcoholic products,” he said.

“These illegal activities include concealed, illegal movement of products, as well as industrial-scale production of counterfeit alcohol.”

Mngadi also urged South Africans to only drink legally bought alcohol at home and not in public.

“Under the current circumstances where we need to curtail all forms of gathering to slow the spread of Covid-19 infections, home consumption remains the safe option for those who chose to consume alcohol.

“In addition to reducing exposure to Covid-19 infection, home consumption also reduces the risk of drinking and driving, which is historically prevalent during the festive season.”


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