Fujian, the affluent coastal province in southern China, has announced one of the province’s biggest fake wine busts in its history: over 40,000 bottles of fake DBR Lafite and Penfolds were uncovered in a police raid with value well worth over RMB 11 million (US$1.56 million).
The massive fake wine haul is revealed as part of local authorities’ hardline “iron fist crackdown against food safety issues” in first three quarters of the year.
According to local authorities, the main suspect surnamed Wu had been producing counterfeit wines bearing names and trademarks of well known brands including Australia’s popular Penfolds and DBR Lafite. The latter produces a range of wines from Bordeaux first growth Chateau Lafite Rothschild to volume brands Légende and Saga.
A raid on three of the suspect’s warehouses in Zhangzhou city led to the discovery of 40,084 fake wines and a trove of labels and packaging that bear the name and trademark of Penfolds and DBR Lafite. Authorities did not specify exact wines that have been
The value of the wines involved is estimated to be in excess of RMB 11 million. The main suspect is currently facing criminal investigation.
Fujian, one of China’s most affluent provinces in southern China, is a key wine consumption market within China, making it a prime target for fake wine producers.
Together with Guangdong province across Hong Kong, it is counted as one of first provinces in China to have welcomed imported spirits and wines, and is particularly known for its consumption power for whisky, cognac and imported wines, rather than the domestically produced Baijiu.
Its total liquor consumption in 2018 is estimated to be around RMB 20 billion (US$2.85 billion), with imported spirits taking up around RMB 3 billion (US$427 million) and wine RMB 5 billion (US$711.7 million). In comparison, consumption of the fiery Baijiu which often dominates other provincial markets is only at RMB 5 billion.