November 10, 2017 – Elektrougli, Russia –
Elektrougli is a town of 20,000 people located 22 miles east of Moscow and serviced by the Moscow- Nizhny Novgorod Railway. The urbanized town of Elektrougli was chartered in 1956. While maintaining its small-town appeal it is filled with thriving manufacturing facilities and warehouses.
On the outskirts of this working class industrial town entrepreneurs were running a fake alcohol production facility, with a capacity that hints at one of the largest ever uncovered. Police officers raided a warehouse located in the suburbs of Elektrougli and uncovered 4 bottling filling production lines able to fill 5,000 bottles an hour.
Among the inventory of this counterfeit alcohol production facility seized by police were 120,000 bottles of unlabeled vodka and cognac. Police also uncovered 400,000 bottles with forged labels representing of vodka and cognac representing premium brands. Also confiscated were 2 Million fake label and caps along with 640,00 empty counterfeit liquor bottles waiting to be filled.
Among the records seized at the facility was paperwork indicating that 25,000 bottles of counterfeit alcohol were recently shipped to Balashikha, and town less than a mile from Moscow with a population of 215,000 people. Many of the residents of Balashikha are daily work commuters to Moscow.
The combined total of this haul by police during the raid of this counterfeit alcohol facility indicated that it had the capacity to produce 50,000 bottles in a ten-hour day. With 640,000 with two million fake labels and caps in inventory, one can only guess at the monthly volume of this fake alcohol production enterprise.
In less than 7 months, on June 14, 2018, the World Cup is scheduled to be played at Luzhniki Stadium, Moscow. The world cup is expected to bring tens of thousands of foreign tourists to Moscow to fill the 81,000 seat Luzhniki Stadium for this International Competition.
There was no connection made by the spokesperson for the fake alcohol raid in Elektrougli, Irina Volk of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Russia. However, the volume and proximity of this counterfeit alcohol production facility and records indicating that shipments were made to Balashikha can lead to presumptions that this facility was producing enough fake alcohol a month to supply every attendee of the World Cup with multiple bottles of fake vodka and cognac.
This is an early warning for tourists planning on visiting Russia for the World Cup that the fake alcohol produced and distributed near Moscow is of epic proportions. Diligence and caution is urged when purchasing alcohol outside of official duty free shops.
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