Chinese police seize 14,000 bottles of fake Australian wine

More than 14,000 bottles of fake premium Australian Penfolds wine valued at 10 million yuan (S$2 million) were seized in Shanghai.
More than 14,000 bottles of fake premium Australian Penfolds wine valued at 10 million yuan (S$2 million) were seized in Shanghai.PHOTO: REUTERS

SHANGHAI - Chinese police in Shanghai said they have cracked the largest-ever case involving fake Australian wine handled in the city, China Daily reported.

More than 14,000 bottles of fake premium Australian Penfolds wine valued at 10 million yuan (S$2 million) were seized, Shanghai police said on Wednesday (Nov 15).

The counterfeit products, sold for as little as 200 yuan, were found on Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba's online shopping website Taobao.com and at pubs and karaoke bars, reported the Sydney Morning Herald.

The wines normally retail for the equivalent of 600 to 3000 yuan.

According to the Herald, Australian wine giant Treasury Wine Estates, the company behind premium brands Penfolds and Grange, had filed a complaint with Alibaba, who then alerted Chinese police in August.

That led to a three-month police investigation.

Thirteen suspects have been detained, including a man surnamed Dai who allegedly achieved sales worth 1.2 million yuan for three months in a row through an online store on Taobao. Another man, a supplier surnamed Su, was also detained, police said.

Officers purchased wine from the shop and found its quality obviously inferior to the genuine product, from the printing on the package to the quality of the bottles and ingredients, China Daily said.