INTERNATIONAL ITALIAN DOC WINE SCAM UNCOVEREDOctober 23rd, 2020
Italy’s Financial Police unit in Florence have dismembered an international criminal network that was about to sell fake bottles of DOC Bolgheri Sassicaia wine – one of Italy’s most expensive and best known wines internationally – at about 30% below the market price to clients in China, Korea and Russia. Two persons have been placed on house arrest and 11 others are under investigation for charges ranging from international fraud, trademark and geographical indication (DOC) infringement and possession of stolen goods. According to the scam, the fake Sassicaia wine bottles were sourced in Turkey, while counterfeit labels, caps, corks and wooden boxes were produced in Bulgaria and the bottles were filled with inexpensive Sicilian wine. Police intervened before the start of the sale of these fakes: the network would have been able to produce about 700 cases of counterfeit wine per month, for a total of 4,200 bottles, and equalling estimated revenues of about EUR400,000 per month. We’d get the details on the case from police and experts and analyse the impact of wine fraud has in the agrifood sector in Italy.