Police in Russia raid fake Johnnie Walker factory

The authorities in Russia say they have closed down a factory that according to police was producing counterfeit bottles of Johnnie Walker Black Label and other whisky, cognac and rum brands.

The factory was located in a village called Beloomut outside Moscow, according to a social media account run by the country’s interior ministry claimed to have seized thousands of bottles of counterfeit alcohol that may be unsafe, two tonnes of spirit, empty bottles, and labels from well-known brands. It is reported that the plant was bottling but not distilling spirits.

Diageo, which owns the Johnnie Walker brand, joined many other food and drink multinationals which banned exports of their products to Russia following its invasion of Ukraine last year, including Beam Suntory, Chivas Brothers, Edrington and beer producers Heineken and Carlsberg.

The RIA Novosti news agency said last August that there was concern that counterfeiters would move to fill the void with illicit and potentially hazardous alcoholic beverages. Meanwhile,

In a statement, Diageo confirmed that the company is still not “either directly or indirectly importing or selling” any products in Russia.

“We are always very concerned of any reports of counterfeit alcohol as it can so often be harmful for both consumers and society,” it said. “We are taking all appropriate steps within the parameters of current local and international laws to ensure our products are not counterfeited.”

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