Fwd: Counterfeit Spirits (YOU WILL BE CAUGHT)

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Fwd: Counterfeit Spirits (YOU WILL BE CAUGHT)

Postby Husker » Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:45 am

this was emailed from Harry. Probably a good place to put this to INFORM folks. I hope no one here is doing things like this, but be sure to educate others if you hear about this. Like Harry states, we ARE on semi thin ice with these type forums. If the gooberment feels we are are the cause of loss of their revenue (which is our money, btw), then we can be shut down.

H.

Harry wrote:All distilling group owners &mods are encouraged to pass the following message on to their members. The more people that see it, the less likely we are to suffer.
===============================================
This is an open letter specifically aimed at all the numb-nut, dumb-ass fools out there that think they can make a million by producing, distributing and/or selling counterfeit alcoholic spirits. YOU WILL BE CAUGHT !!
Law enforcement worldwide has at their fingertips, a portable instrument that can easily detect any non-commercial product.
The "Authenticator", a portable Ultraviolet Spectrophotometer, can be used for virtually any alcoholic or non alcoholic liquid from champagne to mineral water. Be sure to read ALL the downloadable pdf's.
http://www.spectroscopic.co.uk/brand-au ... index.html
I remind all visitors to our websites that WE ARE A HOBBY GROUP. Do NOT think that you can learn a bit & then go away and make your fortune as a bootlegger. I repeat, YOU WILL BE CAUGHT !!
Episodes like the Geelong Bust** (thanks the report Marc) only undo all the good work we groups and group members have done towards gaining respectability and legality for our hobby.
** http://www.geelongadvertiser.com.au/art ... _news.html
So, is it an isolated case? Sadly no. Counterfeiting is a worldwide problem. The following is taken from "Havocscope", the online database of world black market activities. http://www.havocscope.com/tag/counterfeit-alcohol/
.....................................................
The International Federation of Spirits Producers stated that counterfeit alcohol leads to an estimated Euro 500 to 600 million ($700 million) annual loss.
[Source: Neil Merrett, " Czech sting reveals Eastern Europe's fake spirits boom," CEE-Foodinustry.com, August 3, 2006]
.....................................................
The Scotch Whisky Association** is kept busy from fighting counterfeit bottles of scotch whisky. According to the organization, at any given time they are handling between 60 to 70 active cases regarding fake scotch.
** http://www.scotch-whisky.org.uk/swa/21.html
[Source: Christopher Mackie, "The worldwide fight to scotch counterfeit whisky trade,"Scotsman, July 20, 2009.]
.....................................................
The state of Virginia estimates that it loses $20 million a year in tax revenue to "moonshining", a home-made and illegally smuggled whiskey.
According to the Economist, the whiskey is "cheaply made in 800-gallon stills, most of it smuggled to poor inner cities and sold at half the price of its legal counterparts, avoiding state and federal taxes which run at roughly $25 per gall (3.8 litres) of whiskey."
[Source: "Moonshine: Lighting strikes," The Economist, April 18, 2009.]
.....................................................
Counterfeit bottles of vodka are set to account for up to half of all vodka sales in Russia this year, according to the Moscow Times. Last year, 12 million bottles of vodka was produced legally, while 17 million bottles were sold in stores. Thus, around 5 million bottles, or 28 percent of all sales, were of fake bottles of vodka. This year, the figure is expected to reach 50 percent as people attempt to save money.
[Source: Courtney Weaver, "Illegal Vodka Set to Account for Half of All Sales," Moscow Times, March 12, 2009.]
.....................................................
.....................................................

My Conclusion:
These are enormous amounts of money that no government will ignore.
Because of these RENEGADE producers, I fear it's only a matter of time before free and innocent well-meaning hobby sites like ours are targeted by authorities. We will be forced to withdraw from the internet and any further dissemination of information regarding alcohol distillation.
Thanks for reading.
Slainte!
regards Harry
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Re: Fwd: Counterfeit Spirits (YOU WILL BE CAUGHT)

Postby HookLine » Fri Aug 14, 2009 6:54 am

Well that is really gonna help our cause. :evil: :roll:
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Re: Fwd: Counterfeit Spirits (YOU WILL BE CAUGHT)

Postby rad14701 » Fri Aug 14, 2009 9:56 am

I've known several bars to refill the same bottles over and over again with illegal spirits... Always wondered why the liquor authority never noticed when they came in for an unannounced inspection because the bottle labels got pretty worn looking after a while... I think most of the time they were too busy looking for fruit flies in the bottles and tax seals than anything else... Funny thing is they never checked the liquor storage room, just what was behind the bar... Might be tighter enforcement in areas where it's more organized, widespread, or in the moonshine belt...
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Re: Fwd: Counterfeit Spirits (YOU WILL BE CAUGHT)

Postby goose eye » Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:35 am

yall see that bout virginia. cheap made in 800 gal outfits.
pull that article an read it. ha ha

harry the mob is involved an has been for decades with refillin jugs in there controled bars. aint nothin new.

so im tole
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Re: Fwd: Counterfeit Spirits (YOU WILL BE CAUGHT)

Postby travis » Mon Aug 17, 2009 1:30 pm

In pubs (UK) if I suspect they are doctoring the beer & spirits & I am paying good money for what should be quality drinks, it’s a phone call to the Trading Standards Office (UK) they just love tax dodgers, they are straight in there at the juggler, they welcome a phone call.

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Re: Fwd: Counterfeit Spirits (YOU WILL BE CAUGHT)

Postby Q-bIc » Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:44 am

does that mean they put something special in the commercial stuff that react to the UV light or how does that work ?
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Re: Fwd: Counterfeit Spirits (YOU WILL BE CAUGHT)

Postby Husker » Tue Aug 18, 2009 5:41 am

Q-bIc wrote:does that mean they put something special in the commercial stuff that react to the UV light or how does that work ?

http://www.spectroscopic.co.uk/brand-au ... works.html

It sounds like they simply take a number of samples of a genuine product (say crown royal). Then run spectral analysis of all of these samples. Then each should test 'about' the same, due to the commercial company trying to keep consistent flavor/odor structure of the product. Once they get the range, then they store that data in a database. Then, in the field, they test a unknown sample, telling the machine it is supposed to be crown royal, and the machine will give a yes/no indication. Pretty simple solution. It is a little bit of a fuzzy logic problem, since samples of a single legit type WILL vary, but they should be close. Thus it is this 'closeness' that is being tested. If things fall outside of this range considerably, the sample is bogus.

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Re: Fwd: Counterfeit Spirits (YOU WILL BE CAUGHT)

Postby moose » Tue Aug 18, 2009 12:35 pm

Re: bars re-using bottles and adding cheaper liquor....

Haven't done the bar thing in many moons, but back in the day the barkeeps would always scratch up the label when they emptied the bottles so that couldn't be done?
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Re: Fwd: Counterfeit Spirits (YOU WILL BE CAUGHT)

Postby Hawke » Tue Aug 18, 2009 8:07 pm

Most of the bars near me have a trash bin and hammer hanging close. When empty, they take it to the bin and give it a wack.
It is the very things that we think we know, that keep us from learning what we should know.
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Re: Fwd: Counterfeit Spirits (YOU WILL BE CAUGHT)

Postby Aces High » Tue Aug 18, 2009 11:06 pm

Sorry, but i'm gonna play devils advocate here....The government are such hypocrites with this kind of thing. The reason all the black marketing goes on with liquor is that the government has loaded so much tax onto these items that people think they can make easy money by making it themselves... In Australia they call it the "Sin Taxes" ..drinking.. smoking etc.. gets taxed 10 times more than standard items.

Now I'm not against paying taxes, but when our standard Australian GST tax is 10%, but liquor gets taxed at $64 ish (can't remember the exact amount) per pure litre of spirit, or $18 per standard 40%/700ml bottle... of course criminals are going to try and make easy money....
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Re: Fwd: Counterfeit Spirits (YOU WILL BE CAUGHT)

Postby Husker » Wed Aug 19, 2009 5:32 am

AH, your words ring VERY true. However, when the gooberment(s) get worrying about their cash cow, and start shutting off the leaks, WE home distillers will likely get caught up in the sweep of things. Boards like this that disseminate information, are REALLY BIG targets for sweeps like this.

H.
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Re: Fwd: Counterfeit Spirits (YOU WILL BE CAUGHT)

Postby HookLine » Wed Aug 19, 2009 5:58 am

Husker wrote:Boards like this that disseminate information, are REALLY BIG targets for sweeps like this.

H.

For this forum at least it would be kinda like shutting the barn door five years after the horse has bolted and gone on a world tour.
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Re: Fwd: Counterfeit Spirits (YOU WILL BE CAUGHT)

Postby Husker » Wed Aug 19, 2009 6:35 am

HookLine wrote:
Husker wrote:Boards like this that disseminate information, are REALLY BIG targets for sweeps like this.

H.

For this forum at least it would be kinda like shutting the barn door five years after the horse has bolted and gone on a world tour.


Agreed Hook, but do feel the gooberments make sane decisions all the time, especially with loss of their graft is in question?

H.
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Re: Fwd: Counterfeit Spirits (YOU WILL BE CAUGHT)

Postby goinbroke2 » Wed Aug 19, 2009 10:48 am

If you want to copy store bought just add lots of heads and tails.... :lol:

Seriously, we use spectrum analysis on the engines and tranny's of our army tanks. It's called a "soap" sample. Basically they take the sample of oil and burn it and with a spectrum analysis machine "watch the colours of the flame". Blue means too much copper or green might mean too much aluminum etc.

To do this with any liquid is pretty easy.

That said, I fully agree if someone is doing that then it could have bad ramifications to us and other boards like this. I personally know two bartenders and a bar owner. Would they buy illegal likker? Hard to say but profit in these times is tight, you never know. If I knew it was going on though, I would steer well clear of the place.

The point about taxes is true too. The gubment makes criminals out of law abiding citizens when it poses arbitrary or (in this case) unfairly taxed (in the public's perception) rules. If tomorrow they decided to tax bread at $30.00 a loaf, how many people do you think would start making their own bread? And of course then they would be criminals. Not because they are not law abiding citizens in every other way, but through gubment taxation and vying for control. I don't mind paying my fair share of taxes (and then some damn it) but when the government tries to control my personal choices in life (drinking/smoking/etc) by way of a tax grab, yes I take issue with that. A muffler for your car is $50.00, one for a "pleasure craft" boat or 4 wheeler etc is $200.00. No it's not all taxes, but the same mentality applies. The difference is it's a company doing it instead of a government. If both mufflers cost $50.00 but through taxation the boat muffler was $200.00, you know people would be pissed. Regardless if the government wants less boating because they've deemed it "unsafe", if the people feel it is unjust, then they will resist it and become criminals.
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Re: Fwd: Counterfeit Spirits (YOU WILL BE CAUGHT)

Postby rad14701 » Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:35 pm

I think the aspect we really need to be looking at this from is that a consumer in an establishment is expecting that the spirits poured from a labeled bottle are, in fact, the spirits manufactured by the distillery listed on the label... It's just that simple... It has nothing to do with the government agencies at all aside from truth in advertising... The one exception to that statement is that when a bottle has been re-filled with counterfeit spirits, the distillery named on the label becomes liable for any poisoning caused by the counterfeit spirits... True, they should be able to win the case in court, but at what expense...??? Taxation being too high is no excuse for selling counterfeit spirits...

If enough folks say enough is enough, then things will change... The silent go unheard... Those who vote from the rooftops due to frustration are seen as radicals... Only an orderly and well thought out campaign to make changes is accepted, and not always successful on the first or even successive attempts... But, sooner or later, "we, the people" can make a difference... Countries other than the US may have a different motto/mantra than "we, the people"... Who is the government, and how did it get to be what it is today...??? We are, and we let it get the way it is either through action or in-action... That's honest truth, not political banter...
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Re: Fwd: Counterfeit Spirits (YOU WILL BE CAUGHT)

Postby travis » Wed Aug 19, 2009 3:40 pm

Rad 14701 hit the spot of what I was getting at by saying that :- “I think the aspect we really need to be looking at this from is that a consumer in an establishment is expecting that the spirits poured from a labelled bottle are, in fact, the spirits manufactured by the distillery listed on the label... It's just that simple”

Certain pub landlords are buying cheap supermarket spirits & bottling them in branded bottles for the bar & watering them down! huge profits! Same applies to wine, I have refused a bottle that wasn’t shown to me sealed, then opened at the table, yes there are ways around that as with everything, however it does reduce it. You have to know your local beers, as some landlords can get a replica beer from a micro brewery & sell it as a major brewery title & price.

The UK has a Stalinist prime minister (Gordon Brown) he loves stealth taxes by the back door. The trouble is who do we choose? The gang waiting in the wings are no different, they are all in it to line their own pockets.

Sorry on my soap box & off topic. However,

Got an Oat & Wheat Whisky coming on superb in oak, thanks to the recipes on this site.

Regards Travis
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Re: Fwd: Counterfeit Spirits (YOU WILL BE CAUGHT)

Postby HookLine » Wed Aug 19, 2009 6:25 pm

Stalinist?

Hmm.

This thread is in serious danger of getting too political. :|
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Re: Fwd: Counterfeit Spirits (YOU WILL BE CAUGHT)

Postby MuleKicker » Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:01 pm

i hold on to a shed of hope that someday this sport could be legalized in the states, but stuff like this is very discouraging. I mean, what if they made a license for it (they have one for everything else) You go down and buy a permit that is good for 1 year for say..... $100? and with that you can produce an amount for home use? I mean, making beer is legal, owning a still is legal, you just cant "spill" any of your beer into the still. WTF? Alot of people do it any way, and i think just about all of us would march right down to buy that permit to make yourself legal, given the chance, the govt just might make a little money doing it too. Counterfeiters, money or otherwise should be shot!
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Re: Fwd: Counterfeit Spirits (YOU WILL BE CAUGHT)

Postby LouisianaDew » Sun Aug 23, 2009 6:35 am

I agree with everything you guys are saying. I think counterfeiting brand name spirits is just plain wrong - on the other hand my Dad made homemade hooch for most of his life and was never caught - I still have his still - well, parts of it - yes, he sold it illegally but that was one of his only means of putting food in our mouths - but he did not pass it off as something it was not and even the Judge and the Marshal here bought shine from him. I think in the USA anyway there is so much of the good ol' boy network at work that there are two things you :cry: must remember. Keep it quiet and you will probably be left alone, also, at least for around here, don't do anything stupid around election time. This may sound cynical but I have been around a lot longer than most of you probably and I've seen things go on that would raise the hairs on a natural man. You have to remember, the law wants one thing and one thing only - peace (peace officers). If you are not raising a ruckus or runnin' the back roads with a load of shine they will most likely let you be.

Now, as far as changing the laws in the USA to let us do home distilling - ain't gonna happen. I've talked to legislators and Senators and the reply - off the record - is the same. There is just way too much money involved to allow the government to give that up. Also, the liquor lobby is HUGE! If you remember that a while back liquor companies were banned from advertising on television and billboards - well, that has all reversed after a 15 milliom dollar campaign to sway government officials. This is who we are up against - and the golden rule is whoever has the gold makes the rules. :cry: :x
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Re: Fwd: Counterfeit Spirits (YOU WILL BE CAUGHT)

Postby onewildturkey » Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:54 pm

It's getting further from the topic, but with like-minded individuals, could I add one more thing?
The older I get the less understanding I am of "keep it quiet, don't cause a fuss, and most community-minded authorities will not bust you."
Thought that was ok for most of my life. But it gets under my skin, that I need to live under the knife. Every year I've been alive the rules have gotten a little tighter. If they decide (election time, dating your sister, need credit from the bank,...) that the time is right; Bingo. You're front page. I hate that. Besides distilling, just about everybody leads
a life that could be scrutinized, dragged into the light, and stoned by the community. Why do we have to beg/wish for our rights?
I have an ex-wife and a child. If she ever found out about my weekend hobby that produces about 1 gallon of moonshine every two months, she could
put the screws on. That is not right.
By the way, selling counterfeit likker sounds like a lot of work for a couple of bucks. There's more money in drugs.
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Re: Fwd: Counterfeit Spirits (YOU WILL BE CAUGHT)

Postby Ayay » Sat Sep 12, 2009 2:22 am

Here in Oz it is now the "dob-in-system". The authorities do not police, but they zealously follow up on any and all dobbers.

Don't do anything to cause someone to dob you in. If you think you may be dobbed-in then weather the storm and rest assured they will be satisfied with arrogant threats but there will be no followup unless you are dobbed-in again.
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Re: Fwd: Counterfeit Spirits (YOU WILL BE CAUGHT)

Postby blanikdog » Sat Sep 12, 2009 6:07 pm

Nice philosophy in the last three posts.

This from LD sums it up nicely I believe, "You have to remember, the law wants one thing and one thing only - peace (peace officers). If you are not raising a ruckus or runnin' the back roads with a load of shine they will most likely let you be."

Us old bastards are all a bit cynical. It's the price we pay for 'wisdom'. :) :) :)

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Re: Fwd: Counterfeit Spirits (YOU WILL BE CAUGHT)

Postby DamianRyan » Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:32 pm

Seems to me this is all about "money and controll" same old,same old.Hell I hope I learn enough about this craft long before anything negative happens to this site.You guy's have helped me imensely and I thank you.Looks like me new citrus wash is turning out right thank goodness. Damian
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Re: Fwd: Counterfeit Spirits (YOU WILL BE CAUGHT)

Postby jahsin » Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:52 am

if this site was to fall into the scrutiny of the US authorities, there would be an easy solution..........
Simply host the site from a New Zealand server!!! since its legal to distill here, there wouldn't be any problems.
unless my ignorance has led me to overlook something, there would be no problems!! Chea
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Re: Fwd: Counterfeit Spirits (YOU WILL BE CAUGHT)

Postby Neighmond » Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:48 am

Or just make a first amendment issue out of it and make sure all the news media and muck-a-mucks hear about it.
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Re: Fwd: Counterfeit Spirits (YOU WILL BE CAUGHT)

Postby trthskr4 » Sun Nov 29, 2009 2:50 am

You last 2 posters must be younger. China has internet but blocks access to sites they deem inappropriate. The US Constitution is no longer used in any way other than to trash and make ways around. Every thing that happens in this world is about power and control over the masses, EVERYTHING. The media picks a side and that's what gets attention. Don't ever be naive about it, if it's a law passed then it's about making someone do or not do something they want to or take money from individuals. This is not a rant or soap box, just my way of looking at the world. That's the nature of the beast.

Edit: got distracted and forgot to say. At the same time, Distilleries have put a lot of money and effort in their product and getting where they are. What this original post is about concerns more than the "company", this puts people out of jobs as there is a leak in the system and that's who I'm concerned about with anything like this. This is way more serious to me than say downloading a couple songs from the internet without paying for them. If you open a legal distillery yourself then you will hopefully redirect or acquire some market share but along with that you will have to fill in the "individual employee" gap that counterfeiting does not.
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Re: Fwd: Counterfeit Spirits (YOU WILL BE CAUGHT)

Postby CletusDwight » Sun Nov 29, 2009 3:47 am

Status Quo:
The drinks industry and the govmint both have an interest in keeping things the way they are.
Last thing they want is for legal hobby stillers to start popping up all over, screwing with the market and all sorts of tax collecting headaches...

At the same time, while it ain't a problem for them they'll leave well alone.

I think the site is safe enough. If I were an excise officer, I'd love this site. I'd study it carefully every day. Not to catch folks making a few bottles of shine fer themselves - I'd leave them alone as groundbait.
I'd toss in a few questions myself now and again. Probably get to be a Master Distiller eventually.
I'd be looking to flush out potential counterfeiters.
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Re: Fwd: Counterfeit Spirits (YOU WILL BE CAUGHT)

Postby HookLine » Sun Nov 29, 2009 8:08 pm

Last thing they want is for legal hobby stillers to start popping up all over, screwing with the market and all sorts of tax collecting headaches...

When home beer and wine making went legal, the commercial industries didn't go broke, in fact they seem to be doing quite well. Just ain't enough people with the time, energy, space, interest, patience, skills, etc, for hobby beer/wine/spirit makers to ever be a serious threat to the commercial booze market. Making home stilling legal might even spark a renewed interest in spirits by the general public, and hence benefit the commercial stillers.
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Re: Fwd: Counterfeit Spirits (YOU WILL BE CAUGHT)

Postby blanikdog » Sun Nov 29, 2009 11:03 pm

Too right, Hook. If I recall correctly when home brewing beer became legal the monopoly breweries suddenly managed to expand the beers available to the general public. Now it's almost a case of far too many choices. It's almost as difficult as deciding what dunny paper to buy.

All I want is a cold beer thanks. :)

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Re: Fwd: Counterfeit Spirits (YOU WILL BE CAUGHT)

Postby MuleKicker » Mon Nov 30, 2009 3:23 pm

Interesting thought, hook. I agree, not many people will give this hobby a go, or if they do, it wont be good. Are there alot of commercial stillers in NZ, and if so, i wonder what there opinion is on the whole deal. also, how common is it in a place where it is legal hobby still? I often wonder how many around me do it. I mean, my neighbors dont know what im up to in my garage, maybe there doing the same thing........ :twisted: bastards......how could they?
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