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The Bordeaux public prosecutor's office has arrested the owner of a château in the Medoc as well as ten people on suspicion of wine counterfeiting. In addition, nine other suspects were questioned. According to French media reports, they are said to have filled hundreds of thousands of bottles with cheap wine, which mostly came from Spain, and to have put fake Bordeaux labels on them.

As the regional daily Sud Ouest reports, three main suspects have meanwhile been charged with counterfeiting goods, organised fraud and money laundering. During the searches, police seized ten vehicles, a "significant amount" of counterfeit wine in boxes and on pallets, computers, mobile phones, documents and cash

According to the prosecution, the château owner, who is also a licensed négociant, had set up "a network of official and unofficial distributors consisting of companies, senior citizens and private individuals" with which he sold fake Bordeaux by the pallet in several French departments as well as abroad. The customers had assumed that they were buying wines from renowned châteaux, especially from the middle class of the Médoc, at unrivalled low prices. However, the wines were from the lowest price segment - and from regions far outside Bordeaux. The château owner used the money earned from this to finance his lifestyle as well as to renovate his estate.

The investigation began as early as September 2021, when police in Bordeaux discovered large quantities of corks, capsules and labels during searches as part of an investigation into drug smugglers in the region. Shortly afterwards, police in the Loire region came across fake Bordeaux for the first time.

The names of the suspects, the château as well as the faked wines have not been revealed yet.

(uka / Photo: 123rf)

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