French police thwart forgers by passing off as a chic Bordeaux | France


French police have dismantled a gang that allegedly produced hundreds of thousands of bottles of fake Bordeaux wine in an elaborate counterfeiting operation, prosecutors said on Friday.

Officers investigating drug trafficking in the south-west region of France uncovered printing machines used to create labels for bottles last September, sparking a wider criminal investigation.

It led to the arrest of around 20 people on Monday during an operation in seven different regions of France, including three accused of organized fraud, counterfeiting and money laundering.

The main suspect is a winemaker and broker in the Médoc region near Bordeaux who bought substandard wine from other regions, including Spain, and then bottled it as a more expensive local product, a statement said. of the parquet floor of Bordeaux.

“Large orders” had been placed for the wine “for supermarkets and foreign countries,” the statement added.

Bottling operations were taking place at night to avoid detection, he said.

“If the allegations are proven, we hope that the culprits will be heavily punished because these practices damage the image of Bordeaux wines and those who work correctly and respect the rules,” Agence France-Presse told Agence France-Presse. local organization of the wine sector.

French winegrowers, customs and police are constantly on the lookout for cheaters who make the budget look like grand crus.

In 2016, police arrested a Bordeaux winemaker who was mixing shoddy wine with high-end Saint-Émilions, Lalande-de-Pomerols and Listrac-Médocs to sell to major supermarkets under prestigious labels.

Multi-estate owner Francois-Marie Marret has been jailed and fined €8m (£6.9m) after being found guilty of bringing good wine market at night.

In 2010, 12 French winegrowers and traders were found guilty of selling millions of bottles of fake Pinot Noir to the American firm E&J Gallo.

Before that, in 2006, legendary Beaujolais winemaker Georges Duboeuf was fined over €30,000 for mixing grapes from different vineyards to mask the poor quality of some prized vintages.


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