Cambodian police have broken a bootlegging operation that specialised in producing fake Australian wine, according to a local press report.
The Post News said on Friday that police raid on a liquor store in Poipet, near the Thai border crossing, uncovered packaging and labelling for Penfolds “Bin 2, Bin 8, Bin 707, Bin 128, Bin 407 and Bin 389” wines on Tuesday.
Not among the fakes was the more expensive 620 Cabernet Shiraz, which retails for more than $1000. But in Southeast Asia, the Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon is well sought-after and can fetch more than $500.
“Several thousand bottles of booze, along with counterfeit packaging including labels and boxes were confiscated,” the Khmer language report said, adding police were still determining how much alcohol had been produced.
Subsequent raids seized fake Johnnie Walker, Ballantine’s whisky and other alcohol, which was now being tested by the authorities.
Packaging came complete with the striking red Penfolds branding and the address for the Penfolds Magill Estate in South Australia.
Cambodia has earned a notorious reputation for producing fakes including cigarettes, beer and perfumes.
About 15 years ago, major beer brands temporarily stopped selling in Cambodia because they could not compete on price with counterfeits.
It’s not the first time Penfolds has had to deal with counterfeiters. In May, the wine company secured a victory against a group who were using fake labels to pass off inferior wines as Penfolds in China.