Police bust counterfeit liquor syndicate, 14 arrested and 520 bottles seized

The police arrested 14 people on Tuesday for making and distributing counterfeit liquor. The 12 males and two females nabbed were aged between 37 and 57 years old. They included the syndicate leader, his runners and the production crew.

In the 16-hour operation, a production facility at Woodlands Industrial Park, two distribution outlets at Ang Mo Kio Avenue 5 and Hougang, and a retail outlet located at Beach Road were raided.

About 520 bottles of watered down liquor bearing famous brand trademarks, 65 jerry cans of adulterated liquor (equivalent to 2,275 bottles), related counterfeit accessories as well as production equipment were seized. The items seized had a street value of over $336,000. Investigations are still ongoing.

Six of the men were charged in a district court on Thursday. Anyone found guilty of infringing already-trademarked items by selling, distributing or manufacturing them may be fined up to S$10,000 per article, capped at a maximum of $100,000, or jailed for up to five years, or both.

Said Superintendent Teo Cheow Beng, who heads the Criminal Investigation Department's intellectual property rights branch: "Adulterated liquor not only hurts the interests of legitimate companies but also harms the health of consumers. Police take a serious view of such syndicated piracy and will pursue all available leads to clamp down on offenders."