Russian Police Bust $1 mln Moonshine Stash

MOSCOW, May 10 (RIA Novosti) – Over 300,000 bottles of moonshine have been discovered in a warehouse in the suburbs of Moscow, a statement on the Ministry of Interior Affairs said Friday.

The bottles found are all counterfeit alcohol, labeled so they can be passed off as over 20 different well-known brands of vodka, cognac and wine, the police statement explains.

“All the products are of dubious quality, and are stamped with special federal stamps with indications they are fake. The goods seized have an estimated value of about 30 million rubles,” the statement reads.

At today’s currency conversion rates, this is the equivalent to about $1 million.

Samples of the alcohol found have been sent for analysis, and the police are working to identify where the alcohol was made, and who by, the statement explains.

Counterfeit alcohol has been a particular problem for Russia over recent decades. Progress has been made, with the number of people who die each year from consuming illegal alcohol falling from about 45,000 in the early 2000s to about 12,000 in 2010, according to official statistics.


Updated at 0913 with context re death rate from counterfeit alcohol


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