China’s regional court has convicted four men of counterfeiting Penfolds’ trademark, after uncovering more than 1,140 bottles of fake Penfolds and 500kg of unbottled bulk wines during a police operation last January.
On 5 January 2021, a joint operation against counterfeit food products led by Guangdong’s market regulator and police busted a criminal site producing fake Penfolds “Bin” series in Xilianzhen town, Guangdong. It is reported that the fake wine production site has sold around 5,000 bottles of fake Penfolds worth RMB 748,200 (US$117,560) already to the market.
Four suspects were arrested on 18 January 2021 and were handed from one to three years sentencing respectively.According to Chinese media reports, the case is listed as a “major food safety violation case” by China’s top market regulator.
During the operation, a total of 1,140 bottles of fake Penfolds were found, including 624 bottles of Penfolds Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon and 516 bottles of Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz.
Apart from the bottled wines, a large amount of counterfeit alcohol and tools totalling RMB 130 million (US$20 million) were seized at the scene, including 500 kg of unbottled bulk wines, 6,300 empty glass bottles, 7,500 corks, 10,820 wine capsules and 1,100 wine cases with the fake Penfolds logo.
Later on August 6, Shaoguan Wujiang People’s Court convicted the four men of counterfeiting Penfolds and violating its registered trademark.
Two defendants surnamed Deng and Chu were handed a three-year sentence and a fine of RMB 10,000 (US$1,571), while the other two surnamed Lai and Huang were sentenced to 1 year and 3 months in prison along with a fine of RMB 3,000 (US$471).