Kunming carousers beware: thousands of bottles of counterfeit Western booze seized during recent police raids suggest that fake liquor in bars and nightclubs is a citywide problem.
Kunming police have announced that they seized more than 1,300 bottles of liquor from three different counterfeiters during a series of raids on Friday. One counterfeiting operation that was run out of a rented room in Guandu district allegedly sold more than two million yuan (US$294,000) worth of fake foreign spirits to Kunming bars, karaoke clubs, dance clubs and alcohol distributors since May.
The leader of that operation, a man surnamed Zhong, is accused of buying counterfeits of well-known Western spirits from dealers in Guangdong province and reselling them in Kunming. Police say Zhong started doing so in May after first coming here in January on a scouting trip, during which he decided Kunming's market for foreign spirits was flourishing and it would be a good place to set up shop.
The other of the two liquor counterfeiting operations in the news was more of a homegrown affair. A man surnamed Pang is accused of both manufacturing and selling several brands of liquor in Kunming, rather than buying from outside.
These brands included Rémy Martin, Hennessy and Martell cognacs, Johnny Walker, Chivas, and Jack Daniels whiskeys, and Absolut vodka.
The raids echo a similar case in March of 2008 when Kunming police seized more than 20,000 bottles of fake Budweiser and Carlsberg beers that counterfeiters were making through adulterating Kingstar Beer.
Flavor aside, police said they believed the bottles and packaging of most of the fake alcohol being sold in Kunming to be of low enough quality to be detectable by bar and clubgoers acquainted with what the genuine product looks like. Telltale signs of counterfeits include missing paper and foil seals and lack of holograms and embossed seals and text, as well as poor quality printing on labels.
Bottles that look authentic but seem excessively worn or whose caps don't fit well may be real but have been refilled with fake liquor, police said.
They added that supermarkets and large retail outlets tend to have more tightly controlled supply chains and are not as susceptible to counterfeit liquor as most bars and clubs.© Copyright 2005-2021 GoKunming.com all rights reserved. This material may not be republished, rewritten or redistributed without permission.