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Importer busted for selling counterfeit red wines

2015/03/23 21:20:46

CNA file photo

Taipei, March 23 (CNA) A major wine importer based in New Taipei was busted for selling counterfeit French red wine that netted the company a profit estimated at NT$100 million (US$3.19 million) over the past five years, the Investigation Bureau said Monday.

The bureau said it received a tip recently that Tequila Development Co. (瓏舌蘭開發股份有限公司), a well-known wine importer in Taishan, was importing large quantities of cheap red wines from Spain and Chile and passing it off as French wine.

The company rebottled the wine in Taiwan and had labels of high-priced French wine brands attached to give consumers the impression they were buying high-end French wine.

The Investigation Bureau estimated that the company sold 440,000 bottles of the counterfeit wine starting in 2010 and cleared a profit of at least NT$100 million based on wholesale prices.

Bureau investigators and New Taipei prosecutors searched the company's facilities in New Taipei and Changhua County and seized more than 30,000 bottles of the counterfeit wines on March 19.

They also questioned company CEO Ted Lin.

Investigators said tests conducted by Taiwan Tobacco and Liquor Corp. found that the contents of the genuine and counterfeit red wines were clearly different, and the company's practice seriously deceived consumers.

(By Justine Su and Lilian Wu)
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