ASAE seizes 1700 bottles of fraudulent fine wine destined for online market

ASAE, Portugal’s health and safety police, is celebrating one of the largest seizures of fraudulent Portuguese fine wine, made last Friday from a van parked in Greater Lisbon.

The haul of 1700 bottles marked as Pêra-Manca is believed to have been worth around €500,000 on the online market, and would have been “distributed a bit throughout the world”, had it succeeded in duping investors.

How ASAE was tipped off and who is behind the scam has not yet been revealed.

A number of people have been identified by the investigation, reports SIC television news, and one person has been made an ‘arguido’ (official suspect), but that seems to be the extent of details coming out so far.

ASAE’s Domingos Antunes has explained that Pêra-Manca is an extremely select wine, and thus frauds at this end of the scale would bring perpetrators sizeable profits.

“Each bottle costs around €100”, SIC’s report continued. “But as this (seizure) was of a reserve wine produced in 2010, the value could have gone as high as €350 a bottle”.

In short, this was “the largest ever seizure made in the combat of falsification of fine Portuguese wines”.