Contraband alcohol found during raids on warehouses, restaurants

A joint operation between customs officials and tax inspectors led to the seizure of 1,684 wine bottles and 21 alcohol beverages

Wine on which no tax was paid has been confiscated from warehouses and restaurants (File photo)
Wine on which no tax was paid has been confiscated from warehouses and restaurants (File photo)

Contraband wine was seized from two warehouses in Naxxar and St Julian's belonging to an unnamed importer after raids by customs and tax officials.

During the raid carried out by the Joint Enforcement Task Force (JET), officials also found 1,550 unused excise tags.

The establishments did not have the necessary tax warehouse status to keep unused excise stamps and alcoholic beverages without the necessary tax markings, the Customs Department said in a statement.

Officials confiscated 1,674 bottles of wine that were not bearing any excise tags, an indication that no tax was paid.

In a separate operation, searches at two restaurants in Gzira and Paceville, belonging to the same owner, yielded 21 bottles of contraband spirits and 10 bottles of wine on which no taxes were paid.

The customs statement did not indicate whether the restaurant owner and the importer were the same individual.

The JET is a joint investigative initiative by the Customs and the Revenue Departments. The latest enforcement action comes on the back of a similar discovery of more than 200 bottles of contraband wine at an unnamed Marsamxett restaurant five days ago.

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