March 2, 2017 – Istanbul, Turkey

The Izmir Police Headquarters announced the results of an investigation that began three months ago on a tip from confidential sources. Officials said that they began a raid and seizure operation on February 28, 2017 and completed it on March 1, 2017. The result of the two-day operation was the arrest of 8 individuals and the largest fake alcohol seizure in Turkish history.

Officials estimated their haul of illegal alcohol at 30,000 liters worth approximately 10 billion Turkish liras. Along with the 30,000 liters of processed alcohol, the authorities also took inventory of 100,000 liters of raw material used to produce alcohol.

Working in conjunction with the anti-smuggling department, Police were made aware of an operation that was set up in a warehouse in the Bornova district of Izmir Information was also gathered that the warehouse was being readied to be a full-blown alcohol factory. Even in its infancy, this counterfeit alcohol operation was producing fake whiskey and rakı, an anise-flavored alcoholic drink popular in Turkey.

Police spread out throughout the Bornova and Kemalpaşa districts of the western province of Izmir to arrest the eight suspects and seize the rented warehouse where the liquor factory was being established. Four suspects were taken to court where they continued to maintain that they were making igniting gels for barbecues. The other  four suspects in interrogation had a different story for Police. They admitted that they were producing fake whiskey and raki, and that they were procuring empty liquor bottles and reselling them filled with the fake whiskey and raki that they were producing in the warehouse.

This seizure by the Turkish authorities began with an anonymous tip. The death rate from fake alcohol continues to rise every year.You can help stem the tide of fake alcohol deaths by reporting illegal alcohol anonymously to With a database of alcohol enforcement agencies throughout the world can pass your tip to the proper investigative agencies to help prevent deaths from tainted alcohol.

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