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Bootleg alcohol gangs target London's poorest

A BBC Inside Out London investigation has uncovered criminal gangs distilling and selling potentially fatal alcohol across London.

The TV team infiltrated two crime gangs distilling and selling unregulated alcohol. The gangs operate their illegal distilleries in the back streets of deprived areas, where some people are desperate for cheap, strong alcohol.

Inside Out discovered one distillery in north London which has been specifically targeting rough sleepers and illegal immigrants.

In the UK it is unlawful to distil and sell alcohol without a licence, but the operators of the illegal stills uncovered were from countries where regulations are less strict.

There are growing concerns about the impact this imported culture of unregulated alcohol is having in the UK.

Experts told Inside Out that the ingredients in illegally distilled alcohol can vary from batch to batch and could be toxic with dangerously high and potentially lethal levels of alcohol.

Inside Out is broadcast on BBC One London on Monday, 9 February at 19:30 GMT and nationwide on the iPlayer for 30 days.

  • 09 Feb 2015
  • From the section England