£10m of fake booze seized in mass crackdown

17th February, 2014 by Amy Hopkins

Over £10 million worth of fake spirits has been seized as part of a large-scale operation to crackdown on counterfeit food and drink.

Counterfeit-spirits

Interpol and Europol have seized over £10million worth of counterfeit spirits

Police agency networks Interpol and Europol recently announced that nearly 430,000 litres of counterfeit drinks have been seized in a coordinated operation across 33 countries in the Americas, Asia and Europe.

Operation Opson saw the some 96 people arrested or detained, while investigations are continuing in many countries.

Conducted throughout December 2013 and January 2014, the operation involved police, customs, national food regulatory bodies and partners from the private sector, with checks carried out at shops, markets, airports, seaports and private homes.

Over 17,350 bottles of spirits were seized during this period, amounting to over £10million (US$ 17,280,964).

In particular, the agencies revealed that Royal Thai Police raided a warehouse in Bangkok and recovered more than 270 bottles of fake whiskey, as well as forged stickers, labels and packaging.

“Most people would be surprised at the everyday foods and drink which are being counterfeited, and the volume of seizures shows that this is a serious global problem,” said Michael Ellis, head of Interpol’s Trafficking in Illicit Goods and Counterfeiting unit, which coordinated activities between the world police body’s participating countries across the globe.

“Interpol is committed to turning back this threat to public health and safety by organised criminal networks which are making millions in profits which can then be channelled into other illicit activity such as human and drug trafficking.”

While Russia was not targeted by Operation Opson, it was recently revealed that the country’s counterfeit whisky market could be worth £230million.

The counterfeit alcohol industry has continued to have a pervasive presence in the drinks industry in recent years, prompting The Spirits Business to list eight telltale signs of counterfeit spirits.

One Response to “£10m of fake booze seized in mass crackdown”

  1. Len says:

    I guess there is nothing that counterfeiters will not copy and sell as the real thing. It’s like a penalty a business has to pay for successfully branding a product.

Leave a Reply

If that's interesting, how about these?

Buffalo Trace unveils vintage-dated Bourbons

Buffalo Trace Distillery is set to release three unique vintage-dated Bourbons more...

Johnnie Walker debuts refugee documentary

Diageo-owned blended Scotch Johnnie Walker has unveiled a new documentary film more...

Breakthru to 'aggressively' fight fraud allegations

Breakthru Beverage Group has reassured employees it will "aggressively" fight more...

Entry deadline for UK Bar Menu of the Year nears

There is one month left to enter The Spirits Business’s inaugural UK Bar Menu more...

Diageo ‘to cut jobs’ in productivity drive

The world’s largest spirits producer Diageo is reviewing staffing levels at more...

TWE Whisky Show returns for 2016

Touted as "the UK's biggest whisky festival", The Whisky Exchange Whisky Show more...

Industry urges EU-Vietnam FTA ratification

The spirits industry has urged a speedy ratification of the free trade more...

W.L. Weller Bourbon proof and age 'will remain'

Buffalo Trace Distillery has unveiled new bottle designs for its W.L. Weller more...

Scotch whisky gets registered trademark in Taiwan

In what the Scotch Whisky Association has hailed as a "major legal more...

Whisky investment firm offers trading update

Whisky Invest Direct has seen its customers purchase enough liquid to make five more...

Britons back lower drink driving limit

More than three quarters of the British public believe the current drink-drive more...

A Drink With... Matthieu de Lassus, GBH Spirit Division

Matthieu de Lassus, export director for Groupe Bernard Hayot Spirit Division more...

KDA welcomes Louisville Distilling Company

Louisville Distilling Company is the newest member of non-profit trade group more...

Louis XIII Cognac-only store opens in Beijing

Rémy Cointreau has opened a boutique in Beijing dedicated to the most more...

Hunter Laing's Islay distillery gets approval

Scotch blender and bottler Hunter Laing & Co has been given the go-ahead to more...

Women behind bars: Gender politics in cocktail comps

As the cocktail competition circuit heats up, SB explores three underlying more...

Whisky thief makes off with £12k expression

A discerning robber has broken into a Scotch whisky distillery shop and stolen more...

Marks & Spencer lists Koskenkorva Vodka

Finnish drinks group Altia has struck up a deal with retail chain Marks & more...

Luxco names US$35m site Lux Row Distillers

Work is progressing on Luxco’s new US$35 million Kentucky distillery, which more...

Belgium’s on-trade spirits sales fall 50%

Trade body Spirits Europe has said the Belgian government’s decision to more...