Cambodian police have busted several thousand bottles of fake Penfolds wine in one of the biggest hauls so far of counterfeit Australian liquor.
Two young men are in police custody after authorities raided a liquor store in Poipet, near the Thai border crossing, which had been allegedly selling fake replicas of the esteemed Australian wine brand.
Police confiscated “several thousand bottles” of Penfolds top-shelf wine, including labels and boxes for “Bin 2, Bin 8, Bin 707, Bin 128, Bin 407 and Bin 389”, the Post News said.
It is unclear how much counterfeit alcohol had been produced, with subsequent raids seizing fake Johnnie Walker, Ballantine’s whisky and other alcohol, which was now being tested by authorities.
Photos disseminated online show two people being handcuffed in the counterfeiting operation.
Police have not yet formally identified the shop’s owner responsible for the widespread sale of the fake Australian products.
Packaging came complete with the striking red Penfolds branding and the address for the Penfolds Magill Estate in South Australia.
In Southeast Asia, the Bin 707 Cabernet Sauvignon is well sought-after and can fetch more than $500.
Not among the fakes was the more expensive 620 Cabernet Shiraz, which retails for more than $1000.
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.
Deemed the megastar of Australian wine, Christopher Rawson Penfold launched his first Pennfolds winery in 1844, making it one of Australia’s oldest wineries.
A single bottle of one of its newest wines, Grange 2015, will cost you about $900.
In May, Penfolds launched a $280-per-bottle French champagne, made with grapes from a 2012 harvest in France.
It was the first of its kind to have been released in 175 years since the company was established.
Some of its more affordable bottles, including its ‘Bin’ collection, range between $50 to $60.