The Civil Guard intervenes more than 225,000 bottles of counterfeit rum that had been introduced in Spain

Actions have been carried out in Spain, Honduras, the Dominican Republic and the Netherlands, proceeding to the arrest / investigation of 24 people

147,000 bottles of this product have been seized in a tax warehouse located in the Netherlands, whose destination was Spain

The liquor was produced in the Dominican Republic, bottled in Honduras, and labeled with counterfeit labels from China

In Spain it was marketed through tax warehouses and distributors, of which it has acted on 21 of them distributed in Córdoba, Badajoz, Valencia, Málaga, Barcelona, ​​Madrid, Seville, Navarra, Bilbao and Huelva

The Civil Guard, within the framework of the HITSMO operation, carried out in the province of Cádiz, has dismantled an international organization dedicated to introducing counterfeit spirits from three different brands of RON into Spain, reaching a level of perfection such that it allowed them to circumvent fiscal controls. In the operation, more than 225,000 counterfeit rum bottles, valued at 3,500,000 euros, have been intervened and 24 people have been arrested / investigated as alleged perpetrators of a crime against Industrial Property.
The business network produced the liquor in the Dominican Republic, bottled it in Honduras and was labeled with counterfeit labels from China. In Spain the counterfeit goods came from tax warehouses located in the Netherlands, and once here it was marketed through tax warehouses and Spanish distributors, of which 21 of them have been acted, distributed in Córdoba, Badajoz, Valencia, Malaga, Barcelona, ​​Madrid, Seville, Navarra, Bilbao and Huelva.
The investigations began in February 2019 when the Civil Guard detected, in an establishment in the province of Cádiz, dedicated to the wholesale of alcoholic beverages, a consignment of rum bottles that appeared to be counterfeit. After carrying out authenticity checks with authorized experts of the affected rum brand and by the laboratory of the Criminalistics Service of the Civil Guard, it was confirmed that they were counterfeit bottles.
Continuing with the investigations, the agents detected a business network, which, taking advantage of the established legal procedures, managed to introduce, via the Netherlands, these counterfeits into the Spanish tax warehouses, which acquired such a level of perfection that it facilitated them to evade tax controls.
These products finally ended up in different establishments dedicated to wholesale and retail that distributed alcohol throughout the Spanish geography.
For this reason, different contacts were established with the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), resulting in the intervention of 147,000 counterfeit rum bottles in a tax warehouse in the Netherlands, which were destined for Spain.
As a consequence of this apprehension, and as a result of the analysis of the intervened documentation, the Honduran authorities intervened in Puerto Cortés (Honduras) two containers loaded with counterfeit rum with an estimated value in the European market of 500,000 euros, which was to be introduced by the same channels in Europe.
The Civil Guard has investigated more than 50 Spanish, Portuguese and Dutch companies, counting on the collaboration of OLAF for international actions.
The operation has been developed by civil guards belonging to the Office of Analysis and Fiscal Investigation of the Port of Cádiz, with the support of the Company of Chiclana de la Frontera, gathering specific operational support at different moments of the investigation from a large number of Units of the Civil Guard of all Spain.
For more information, you can contact the Peripheral Communication Office of the Cádiz Civil Guard, at tel. 636472330.


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