July 30, 2020

Scott Evers on Spain’s €100 Million Wine Fraud Ring

By Angela Oemcke

Since the team at Cellr has expanded to include Australia’s top wine fraud and authentication expert, Scott Evers, we now get to hear his hot take on all current fraud cases as they come to light. Read the Winetitles article to find out more about Scott Evers joining Cellr in an exclusive partnership here.

The most recent wine counterfeiting case takes us to Spain, where a €100 Million wine fraud ring was uncovered. Here is what Scott has to say on the recent arrests in Spain for adulterating wine as part of an organised international operation involving over 60 companies.

This is a big win for the Spanish authorities and the wider global Wine Industry. This clearly was a very sophisticated fraud, essentially run by global criminal organisations. A one hundred million Euro fraud equates to a huge amount of counterfeit wine out in the market. This has been a 2 year investigation by authorities, yet it would be interesting to know for how long have they actually been committing this fraud and selling these counterfeits into the market – I would suspect some time before they were monitored.

Sadly I’m not surprised to hear of this latest fraud. Criminal gangs have been diversifying into wine fraud for some time now. The chances of eventually getting caught producing and selling drugs is high, and conversely counterfeiting wines is not only very profitable, but you have a lower chance of getting caught.

Adulterated wine can be a health risk. Although isoglucose (corn syrup) is not harmful to humans, adulterating wine and spirits is very risky. Adding too much methanol for example can be fatal to humans. Contrary to the populist view that adulterated wine fraud has taken off exponentially since Asia (and China) opened up, this is further proof that all wine fraud is a major problem across all continents of the globe. There is no respite to this problem, and I have no doubt that other major wine frauds are being committed as I write.

You can read about it here via the Drinks Business.

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