On August 23, 2017. The State Fiscal Service of Ukraine announced raids at six state distilleries in Vinnytsia, Sumy, Ternopil and Kharkiv regions that are not part of Ukrspyrt, the State-owned liquor producing enterprise. The State Fiscal Service was ostensibly looking for tax evasion, and income diversion, instead they discovered the makings of an underground fake liquor empire. With press releases tightly controlled we can surmise by what was released to the public the extent of the operations that were discovered.

Bootleg Alcohol Kills in Ukraine
Bootleg Alcohol has killed dozens in Ukraine

The State Fiscal Service of Ukraine is the revenue enforcement division of the government leading us to believe that they were looking for a disparity in the amount of liquor produced and the taxes that paid on the invoiced amounts of liquor. In the Press Release from The Service, numerous criminal investigations were described as on going against the managers of the State-Owned Liquor Enterprise Ukrspyrt. Also disclosed was the fact that The Service confiscated 14 tons of alcohol from the six distilleries that were raided.

Although the raids were carried out on July 24, 2017, the official press advisory by the government press office was released on August 23,2017, and described the raids by The State Fiscal Service as uncovering underground distillers that were producing illicit vodka with raw material being traced back to the management of Ukrspyrt (manufactures and markets alcoholic beverages including vodka in Ukraine).

Underground Distillers in Ukraine Caught with 14 Tons of Fake Alcohol Click to Tweet

The volume of liquor confiscated and the criminal investigations that were announced points to an investigation that has a wider scope than production beyond the specified limits of the government. This investigation certainly has its inception in the later quarter of 2016 in which there were a rash of deaths throughout the Ukraine from Fake Alcohol. More than 100 deaths were reported in the Ukraine related to fake vodka.

In September 2016 State Service for Food Safety and Consumer Protection stated that they were attributing the 50 deaths in September to the consumption of underground fake vodka production, but that they were also concerned about fake cognac and fake champagne, all of which contained poisonous ethanol substitutions produced by these illicit distilleries. It seems that the announcement today is the result of the investigations that began in September 2016 when there were mass deaths from fake alcohol in the Ukraine.

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