Dismantled one of the largest criminal networks for the production and illegal distribution of whiskey

The network of "Hispanic-Asian" origin had established its two main bases of operations in La Rioja, in Jaén and in Campo de Criptana (Ciudad Real)

During the proceedings, nearly 300,000 bottles, 171,200 counterfeit tax seals, 47,660 liters of whiskey and 9,550 liters of alcohol were intervened to produce the fraudulent product

The fraud of the public finances and the damage caused to the brand would have exceeded 4,610,000 euros

The Civil Guard and the Tax Agency, in a joint operation, have dismantled in La Rioja, Jaén and Ciudad Real, one of the largest criminal networks dedicated to the illegal production and distribution of whiskey.

If all the merchandise had been smuggled in, the fraud committed by this Spanish-Asian network would have exceeded 800,000 euros and the damage it has caused to the counterfeit whiskey brand would have amounted to 3,810,000 euros.

During the proceedings, a total of 14 people, between 37 and 52 years old, have been arrested and investigated. These persons are considered alleged perpetrators of the crimes of belonging to a criminal organization, falsification of stamped effects, against public finances, against industrial property and against public health. Most of the detainees have a criminal record.

Thousands of liters of alcohol and counterfeit whiskey bottles

During the proceedings, numerous counterfeit items that the criminal network imported from China to carry out their illegal activity were intervened. Among the seized merchandise, there are nearly 300,000 counterfeit whiskey bottles, 171,200 counterfeit tax stamps, 18,400 capsules and more than 27,000 cardboard boxes with the logo of a prestigious brand.
In addition, 9,550 liters of bulk alcohol have been seized to produce the fraudulent product, 11,200 liters of whiskey prepared and ready to bottle, as well as 36,460 liters of whiskey already bottled, and relevant documentation for the investigation.
Although it has not been possible to verify, the investigators suspect that part of the 300,000 bottles seized were going to be destined to supply the illicit market for alcoholic beverages, possibly in southern Spain.

Chain counterfeiting

The people involved in this scheme used a legal entity linked to the sector of 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 from a well-known brand®. The second base was located in La Rioja, where they were in charge of preparing the alcoholic mixture and bottling it.
Once the material entered the national territory, the arrested businessman diverted the bottles and stoppers to the La Rioja base – run by a family clan. They then proceeded to send the bottles to Ciudad Real where they placed the labels and seals, being ready for distribution.
On the other hand, the Riojan faction had consolidated a distribution line in the province of Jaén, for the final commercialization of the items that they planned to send.
The detainees, the intervened effects and the proceedings carried out have been made available to the Investigating Court number Three of Calahorra and the Prosecutor's Office of the Superior Court of Justice of La Rioja.


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