THE Guardia Civil and the Tax Agency, in a joint operation, have dismantled in La Rioja, Jaen and Ciudad Real, one of the largest criminal networks dedicated to the illegal production and distribution of whisky discovered in the past few years.
If all of the merchandise had been distributed the fraud committed by this Spanish-Asian network would have exceeded €800,000 and the damage caused to the whisky brand copied would have amounted to €3,810,000 according to the officers involved.
During the proceedings, numerous counterfeit items that the criminal network imported from China to carry out their illegal activity were discovered and amongst the seized merchandise, there were some 300,000 counterfeit whisky bottles, 171,200 counterfeit tax stamps, 18,400 capsules and more than 27,000 cardboard boxes with the logo of a popular brand.
In addition, 9,550 litres of bulk alcohol used to produce the fraudulent product, 11,200 litres of whisky prepared and ready to bottle, as well as 36,460 litres of whiskey already bottled have been seized.
Those involved used a legal entity linked to the distribution of alcoholic beverages in La Rioja. The first base of operations, in Ciudad Real, was run by an Asian businessman who imported from Asia fake tax stamps and large quantities of counterfeit glass bottles, labels and stoppers.
The second base was located in La Rioja, where they were in charge of preparing the alcoholic mixture and bottling it before they were sent to Ciudad Real where they added the labels and seals.
14 people have been arrested and investigated and these persons, most of whom have criminal records are likely to face multiple charges.
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