Russian authorities have raided a factory outside of Moscow producing fake Scottish whisky.
The country’s interior ministry claimed to have seized thousands of bottles of counterfeit alcohol, including Johnnie Walker’s Black Label.
The factory, in the village of Beloomut, near Lukhovitsy, reportedly included thousands of bottles of falsified alcoholic products, including well-known whisky, cognac and rum brands.
A video shared by the department through Russian social media channels showed specialist economic security and anti-corruption police inspecting a bottle of Black Label, which appears to have sediment floating inside it.
In the clip, postage on a Russian government social media account, dozens of boxes of branded alcohol were seen stacked on top of each other.
The ministry said more than two tonnes of alcohol was seized from the bottling factory, where officers detained two individuals.
Diageo, which owns Johnnie Walker, was among the big whisky brands to stop exports to Russia following its invasion of Ukraine.
The company joined Edrington and Chivas Brothers in halting shipments to the nation.
In 2021, the Scottish Whisky Association found Russia was the tenth-largest export market for alcohol, with 42 million bottles shipped to the country that year, costing £28m.
The biggest market for the product is the US, which in 2021 bought £790m worth of whisky from Scottish businesses.
A Diageo spokesperson said: “Diageo is 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.
“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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