Customs officials at the port of Piraeus this week seized a large shipment of bootleg alcohol arriving from Lebanon and destined for the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

According to Greece’s Independent Authority for Public Revenue (AADE) samples taken from the bottles revealed the fraud. The bottles were shipped in tampered packaging as well.

Specifically, 2,191 cartons comprising 15,438 bottles of bootleg alcohol were seized.

A recent study conducted by the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) this year estimates that the illicit trade in alcoholic beverages costs some 70 million euros in lost tax revenue. This substantial figure primarily stems from the evasion of excise taxes and VAT, excluding additional losses incurred from unregistered distillers’ products.

The Greek government has implemented the Electronic Identification System (LOTIFY) to monitor the production and distribution chain of alcoholic beverages, facilitating legal importation and tax compliance. However, the Association of Alcoholic Beverage Companies (EEAP) emphasizes the necessity for improvements in light of implementation obstacles.