The financial police in Palermo have uncovered an organised fraud involving fake DOC and IGT wines. The accused are said to have produced and sold nine million litres of fake cheap wine between 2018 and 2020.
According to regional media in Italy, financial police investigators searched a hidden laboratory in Partenico near Palermo, seizing 25,000 kg of sugar, 300 hectolitres of sugar syrup and 37,000 hectolitres of adulterated must and wine. The laboratory is said to have been used for years to produce counterfeit wine and adulterated vinegar from sugar, water and the remains of wine production. They had been sold in bottles with labels including false designations of origin (DOC and IGT) in Italy. Four wineries were also involved. Local media in Sicily have also made public suspected links between the suspects and the Cosa-Nostra. Five suspects would now face charges of fraud and forgery of wine quality seals. According to the financial police, the forgeries are not dangerous to health.