Belarusian Vodka Netted in Major Bootleg Liquor Busts
Photo: Courtesy Tax and Customs Board
Tax and Customs Board officials found over 6,800 bottles of contraband liquor in searches of possible storage sites in three counties last week.
The largest quantity of illegal alcohol was found at the home of a resident of a town in Pärnu County with prior convictions, with quantities also found in a Viljandi County sawmill and in the home and vehicles of a Harju County resident.
A total of 3,580 half-litre bottles of Belarusian Minskaya Kristall vodka that lacked tax stamps was found, along with 25 bottles of Belaya Beryoza made by the same distillery. A number of bottles of stampless Russian vodka labeled Nasha Rasa and 3,211 bottles of wine, most of it Austrian, was also found.
Other, counterfeited merchandise was also seized. One arrest was made.
The Belarusian brands mark a new trend, according to officials, while the Russian vodka is already familiar to customs officials. The revenue forgone from these violations was about 13,000 euros.