Wine fraud on the rise in Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s booming wine sector has led to a surge in illegal wine activities, from wine theft to investment frauds, writes Jessica Lam Hill Young.

Local media recently reported the largest wine fraud scheme in Hong Kong this June, involving a wine broker company called Premium Liquid Assets, which swindled over 400 people out of HKD$50 million by advertising a 10-30% investment return on en primeur wine.

It was speculated that the company closed down for two reasons – since this is the year for receiving the physical bottles of the 2008 vintage, which has increased greatly in value, the company might have neglected to buy those en primeur wines after they received clients’ money, and could not purchase the wines before the price went up. Another reason might be that the company was swindled by merchants themselves, so they did not receive the wines. The company’s top managers have disappeared while authorities investigate the case.

This wine investment fraud prompted questions of whether a wine regulation framework should be called for in Hong Kong to protect investors, such as imposing a licence to sell wine, which is implemented in the UK.

In the past two years in Hong Kong, there have been five complaints of forged wines and no proven cases of counterfeit wine. In 2009, robbers stole 228 bottles of 1982 Château Lafite worth HKD$6.8 million from a warehouse.

Fraud is even more common in China, where fake wine is routinely poured into genuine bottles for reselling.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note that comments are subject to our posting guidelines in accordance with the Defamation Act 2013. Posts containing swear words, discrimination, offensive language and libellous or defamatory comments will not be approved.

We encourage debate in the comments section and always welcome feedback, but if you spot something you don't think is right, we ask that you leave an accurate email address so we can get back to you if we need to.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Sales Operations Manager (On Trade)

Berkmann Wine Cellars
London, UK

Wine Sales Executive

Anthony Byrne Fine Wines
Midlands and Northamptonshire

Business Development Executive - London

Jascots Wine Merchants
London, UK

Managing Editor

The Drinks Business Hong Kong
Hong Kong

Techical Administrator

Australian Vintage
Croydon, UK

Events Marketing Coordinator

Speciality Drinks
London, UK

London Business Development Manager

Vine Distribution Services
London, UK

Marketing Assistant

Harviestoun Brewery
London, UK

Business Development Executive

Amathus Drinks Plc
London, UK

Barullo Sessions: Summer Solstice

London,United Kingdom
18th Jun 2019

Canterbury Wine Festival

Canterbury,United Kingdom
22nd Jun 2019

Fruit Focus 2019

East Malling,United Kingdom
17th Jul 2019
Click to view more

The Global Riesling Masters 2018

View Results

Global Chardonnay Masters 2018

View Results

Click to view more