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Russia: Up to a Third of Consumer Items Fake Including Alcohol

on 12/09/11 at 9:23 am

Booze News

Knockoff Chinese Jin Ling cigarettes from Kaliningrad, Italian Asti wines actually made in the CIS and Bavarian car parts made in Podolsk imply a certain geographic schizophrenia for Russian consumers.

But the harsh reality is a market for counterfeit goods that some experts estimate to be worth between $3 billion and $6 billion per year.

Counterfeit alcohol has been a problem in Russia for decades. Earlier this year Italian sparkling wine consortium Asti D.O.C.G. introduced special stickers with a government-issued code, located on the top of each bottle to certify the authenticity of its wines. Consumers can verify the code on the consortium’s web site, astidocg.it.

Police in Chukotka last week confiscated a batch of illegally manufactured booze — 915 liters of grain alcohol, 706 liters of vodka and 454 liters of cognac, according to a report posted on the Interior Ministry web site. It was the largest batch of counterfeit liquor the area has seen in several years.

Four tons of illicit alcohol was confiscated in the Krasnodar region in June, the Interior Ministry reported. An illegal sausage factory, operating out of a railroad car repair shop, was shut down in Moscow earlier this year.

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