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Chinese customs seize 520k bottles of Cognac

Customs officials have seized 520,000 bottles of Cognac, worth an estimated 400 million yuan (£41m), imported illegally into China’s mainland.

Police discovered half a million bottles of Cognac, which filled seven trucks, and arrested four suspected smugglers following a raid at a warehouse in Shenzhen in April.

An investigation into the company was first launched in January, but officials only released details of the case on Wednesday, as reported by the South China Morning Press.

The men are believed to have been importing thousands of bottles of Louis Royer XO Cognac into the Chinese mainland, avoiding paying the correct excise duty and VAT by lowering the declared price by 30% and falsifying customs declarations at its Hong Kong company.

It has not yet been confirmed if the four arrested men will stand trial.

Sales of Cognac in Asia have been struggling since austerity measures were put in place by the country’s government to curb luxury spending and gift giving.

While Cognac exports increased rapidly in Europe and North America in the three months to the end of July 2015, shipments to Asia decreased by 2.8%.

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