International raids see fake vodka seized

A co-ordinated operation carried out by Interpol and Europol involving 33 countries has resulted in the seizure of nearly 430,000 litres of counterfeit drinks and 1,200 tonnes of fake or substandard foods.

Police (Image © Northumbria Police)

Operation Opson began in 2011 targeting  the criminal production and sale of counterfeit protected food name products, such as Gorgonzola or Champagne.

Most recently Operation Opson III, which ran between December 2013 and January 2014 and specifically targeted crime networks behind the illegal trade of unregulated food and drink, saw 96 people arrested in countries across the Americas, Asia and Europe.

In Scotland, a 40ft lorry carrying 17,156 litres of counterfeit Glen’s vodka was seized, amounting to £269,300.65 in unpaid duty and VAT.

The operation’s success was today praised by Intellectual Property Minister Lord Younger.

He said: “Fake and sub-standard food poses a serious health risk to consumers and takes money away from legitimate producers and retailers.

“The UK will continue to share its expertise in the international fight against fake food and work with our partners to bring these unscrupulous criminal gangs to justice.

“Coordination was key to the success of Opson III, and the Intellectual Property Office played this vital role for the UK. Building on this, I will be hosting the 2014 Opson IV planning conference next month in London.”

In total, Operation Opson III recovered:

  • more than 131,000 litres of oil and vinegar
  • more than 80,000 biscuits
  • more than 1,200 tonnes of fake or sub-standard food
  • nearly 430,000 litres of counterfeit drinks
  • 20 tonnes of spices and condiments
  • 186 tonnes of cereals
  • 45 tonnes of dairy products and 42 litres of honey

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Your email address will not be published.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.

Subscribe to our newsletters

Various Sales Roles (London, Brighton, Bristol, South Wales and East Midlands)

Amathus Drinks Plc
London, Brighton, Bristol, South Wales and East Midlands, UK

Sales Opportunities

Alliance Wine

International Logistic Manager

Wine Source Group
Central London, UK


The Observatory, Old Oak Common Lane NW10 6DX, UK

Sales Manager & Brand Ambassador for Central England

Salcombe Gin
Central England, home office with extensive travel , UK

Director of On-Trade & Prestige

Signium Executive Search
South East England ideally, UK

Brand Marketing Assistant

Hatch Mansfield
Ascot, UK

Regional Account Manager

Scotland, UK

Retail Assistant Manager

The Whisky Exchange

Retail Supervisor

The Whisky Exchange

The City Wine Show

London,United Kingdom
13th Apr 2018

Prosecco Springs

London,United Kingdom
26th Apr 2018

Spirits & More

19th May 2018
Click to view more

The Global Malbec Masters 2017

the drinks business is proud to announce the inaugural Global Malbec Masters 2017

The Global Sparkling Masters 2017

the drinks business is thrilled to announce the launch of The Global Sparkling Masters.

Click to view more