Chinese fraudster gets five years in prison for bottling fake Bordeaux

Chinese fraudster gets five years in prison for bottling fake Bordeaux

A Chinese fraudster has received a five-year prison sentence after he was caught with 786 bottles of fake Bordeaux bearing prestigious labels of Pétrus and Lafite Rothschild, among others.
Text: Ingrid Larmoyeur (The Wine Institute) | Image: AI art by Vinissima ©  

Qi Moudao was also fined 250,000 yuan (about €32,000) after admitting to illegally bottling wine from prestigious Bordeaux châteaux. A bottle of Pétrus costs about 50,000 yuan (about €6,400) in China, so cheating is quite interesting as a result. The contents of the fake Bordeaux can be guessed: cheap wine.

Chinese police discovered after a raid that 33 of the fake bottles had labels of expensive Bordeaux such as Pétrus, Château Lafite Rothschild or wines from Pomerol. Another 29 bottles were allegedly from Carruades de Lafite 2017, the second wine from Lafite Rothschild in Pauillac.

The People's Court of Tongzhou District in Beijing ruled that it was a serious case of trademark infringement and sentenced the fraudster to five years in prison. Qi Moudao did not appeal.

Forgeries of Bordeaux in China have occurred before. Bordeaux has been cooperating with local authorities on these since 2020. Chinese authorities have since made several high-profile arrests. In January 2023, another raid in Fujian province uncovered 40,000 fake bottles of wine, including Lafite Rothschild, as well as Australia's top Penfolds wine. Street value of the loot then was nearly 140 million euros.

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