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13,800 Litres of Brandy and Spirits Seized

The Territorial Command of Madeira, through the Criminal Investigation Section, yesterday, the 25th of July, carried out their “Alba Sublimatum” operation, which targeted several places suspected of illegally producing and selling alcoholic beverages.  This constitutes several crimes, including the fraudulent introduction of illegally produced alcohol into the consumer market, as well as a crime against public health.  This was even more weighty, as more than 13,800 litres of brandy and illegally produced spirits were seized in the municipalities of Santa Cruz and Câmara de Lobos.

During a year long investigation, both the the Public Prosecutor’s Office of Santa Cruz, and GNR officers carried out investigations which culminated in the issue of seven search warrants, six properties and one commercial establishment, where the following material was seized: 13,875.9 litres of brandy and spirits; 4,400 kilos of white sugar; three vehicles; a stainless steel vat with a capacity of 1,000 litres; 932 euros in cash; four cell phones; a laptop computer; miscellaneous documentation relating to the illicit activity; twenty-three 45-kilogram propane gas bottles; 39 plastic vats of different sizes; a forklift and miscellaneous material related to the illegal distillation and distribution of illegal alcohol.

It is estimated that the total value of the drinks and equipment seized is more than 500 thousand euros. Following the action, five men aged between 45 and 70 years were arrested.

A total of fifty-one soldiers from the Madeira Territorial Command were involved in the operation, belonging to the Criminal Investigation Section, the Funchal Territorial Post, the São Vicente Territorial Post, the Airport Tax Post, the Tax Post of the Free Zone, the Section Naval, the Cinotécnica Section and the Nature Protection Nucleus (NPA).

Samantha Gannon

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