Italian police bust €2m fake Sassicaia ring
Authorities in the Italian city of Florence have arrested a two people thought to be involved in selling counterfeit bottles of Sassicaia worth €2 million.
The Guardia di Finanza made the arrests after a complex year-long investigation. The fraudsters had been bottling and labelling fake bottles of the famous Super Tuscan wine from different vintages between 2010 and 2015.
The police were able to intercept a delivery of 41 cases of what claimed to be Sassicaia 2015. It was estimated that the criminals were selling around 700 cases of the fake wine per month, a total of 4,200 bottles worth around €400,000, from a warehouse near Milan.
According to their investigations, several customers from countries including Korea, China and Russia, had already placed orders for a thousand cases, priced at 70% below the market value.
The wine used in the counterfeit products is thought to have originated from Sicily, the bottles from Turkey and the fake labels, caps, crates and tissue paper from Bulgaria.
At the end of last month, authorities seized 80,000 counterfeit items in Milan, which included labels, bottles, caps and wooden cases. It would have led to the sale of around 1,100 cases (6,600 bottles) of Sassicaia 2015, which have a market value of around €2 million.
Authorities are also investigating four other individuals, thought to have been working with the two people that have been arrested. A fifth suspect, thought to have procured the wine that was used, is also being investigated.
A total of 11 people are thought to have been involved in the ring.