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‘Operation Swill’ cracks downs on alleged liquor substitution

Posted at 7:39 PM, May 22, 2013
and last updated 2013-05-22 19:41:34-04

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Attention, happy-hour lovers: this could be hard to swallow.

New Jersey’s Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control announced Wednesday that it had seized alcohol from 29 bars and restaurants as part of a year-long investigation into allegations that the businesses have been fooling customers by filling bottles from premium brands with cheaper well liquor.

More than 100 investigators fanned out across the state Wednesday morning to carry out the raids in an effort dubbed “Operation Swill.”

Among the establishments hit were 13 TGI Fridays locations. A Fridays spokeswoman did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control said investigators had relied on “citizen complaints, confidential informants, and new technology used to test samples taken covertly from the licensed establishments by Division detectives.”

No word on whether any of those “confidential booze informant” jobs are still available.