Italian police busted two individuals and seized more than 4,000 bottles of counterfeit wine that would have been worth around $1.7 million if sold to unsuspecting marks. The wine, Bolgheri Sassicaia by Tenuta San Guido, is considered one of the world's best bordeaux-style red wines and can sell for $420 depending on the vintage. The fake wine apparently came from Italy, was put into perfectly-labeled bottles from Turkey, and finally packed into Sassicaia-branded wooden boxes from Bulgaria. The police operation was called "Bad Tuscan." Salute! From The Guardian:
"The investigation began by chance when two members of the Guardia di Finanza [financial police], came upon a case of the fake wine on a street in Empoli, in Tuscany, which had probably fallen from a truck," said Giuseppe Creazzo, chief prosecutor in Florence, during a press conference.
"In the case was a note with two mobile phone numbers, which set off the investigation and led to the arrest of two individuals who had carried out this fraud with meticulous care. Fortunately, we managed to block the sale of this wine, one of the most famous in Italy and the world, on the international market."
According to investigators, several customers, including some from China, Korea and Russia, had already ordered about 1,000 cases at about 70% less than the cost of the original.
image: Guardia di Finanza, Firenze