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Operation Swill: 29 bars raided for selling cheap alcohol as premium

By Kristen Butler, UPI.com
Liquor bottles at a bar. (CC/Sean)
Liquor bottles at a bar. (CC/Sean)

New Jersey authorities raided 29 bars and restaurants across the state on suspicion they've been passing off cheap booze as their most expensive liquors by refilling empty top-shelf bottles.

A year-long investigation called "Operation Swill" began as a result of complaints, and found that establishments tricked customers so they could charge higher prices for premium brands and boost profits, according to a statement from the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

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Detectives used confidential informants to test samples of liquor covertly purchased at suspected establishments. Authorities on Wednesday raided 29 bars and restaurants, including over a dozen TGI Fridays, and seized inventory records and bottles of liquor.

The Star-Ledger reports that state authorities will release further details of the investigation on Thursday.

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