Sour grapes: counterfeiters arrested for trying to pass off cheap wine as Bordeaux
DDozens of French gang members could complain after being arrested by police for allegedly producing hundreds of thousands of bottles of fake Bordeaux wine, prosecutors said Friday.
Around 20 people were arrested in an operation in seven different regions of France on Monday, three of whom were charged with organized fraud, counterfeiting and money laundering. The arrests stem from a criminal investigation that began in September 2021 after officers investigating drug trafficking in the southwestern region of France found printing machines used to create labels for bottles, according to Guardian.
“If the allegations are proven, we hope that the culprits will be heavily punished as these practices damage the image of Bordeaux wines and those who work properly and respect the rules,” said the local industry body. wine. AFP.
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A focal point of the investigation is a winemaker and broker near Bordeaux who bought substandard wine from neighboring regions, such as Spain, and then bottled it as a more expensive local product, according to a statement from the prosecutor’s office. Bordeaux. “Large orders” were placed for the wine, which was “targeted for supermarkets and foreign countries”, and the wine bottling process was carried out at night to avoid detection, the statement added.
Cheaper French wine masquerading as a more luxurious drink is not uncommon in the country. Police arrested a Bordeaux wine merchant, François-Marie Marret, who was mixing low-quality wine with high-end Saint-Emilions, Lalande-de-Pomerols and Listrac-Medocs to sell to major supermarkets in 2016. He was sentenced to a prison sentence and a fine of 8 million euros, or 8,343,280 dollars.
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The Interior Ministry, which oversees France’s police forces, did not respond to Washington Examiner request for comment.