£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?

ProWein 2017 attracts record numbers

Düsseldorf trade fair ProWein closed its doors yesterday after attracting more...

Jägermeister on 'solid' growth trajectory

German herbal liqueur brand Jägermeister recorded "solid" single-digit volume more...

Spirits industry hails self-regulatory labelling proposal

The European Commission has published a report inviting the drinks industry to more...

The Benevolent Ball raises over £42,000

UK drinks industry charity The Benevolent raised more than £42,000 (US$52,000) more...

Judge dismisses Empire/Breakthru fraud case

A US judge has dismissed a fraud case brought by Empire Merchants against more...

Distilled Spirits Council slams ‘tampon tax’ reform

The Distilled Spirits Council has urged California lawmakers to reject a bill more...

SB Voices: A new age of gastronomic spirits?

As the 'molecular mixology' trend gains traction, are we about to see more...

Unmissable spirits exhibitors at ProWein 2017

This year ProWein is shining a light on spirits and other drinks favoured by more...

Spirit of Speyside to host 'whisky cache'

The Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival will this year host a geocaching event more...

New gin made with collagen to launch

Another product that claims to merge the worlds of beauty and spirits is poised more...

Diageo opens Bulleit Distilling Co in Kentucky

Diageo has officially opened its US$115 million Bourbon distillery in Shelby more...

Southern Glazer’s hires Redell for Campari brands

US drinks distribution company Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits has appointed more...

Deep Eddy Vodka hits one million case sales

Heaven Hill Brands-owned Deep Eddy Vodka has exceeded one million annual case more...

Halewood secures £50m to grow portfolio

Whitley Neill gin maker Halewood Wines & Spirits has secured a £50 million more...

Fever-Tree celebrates 'exceptional' FY results

Premium tonic and mixer brand Fever-Tree has hailed an "exceptional year of more...

Diageo unveils 'industry first' e-learning tool

Diageo has launched a new e-learning tool on its responsible drinking website more...

Adnams hails 66% spirits volume growth

Suffolk-based brewer, distiller and retailer Adnams witnessed 66% volume sales more...

Jameson launches two RTD cans in UK

Jameson is continuing its efforts to “recruit younger consumers into the more...

Foxhole releases second grape-based gin

Following the release of its introductory English gin in 2016, Foxhole Spirits more...

HSBC bullish on spirits stock investments

Vodka has edged whisky as the preferred spirit among Britons, according to a more...