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Over 4,000 bottles of fine wines were seized by authorities in Shenzhen. Lafite, Mouton and Penfolds 707 and other high-value products estimated at more than US$ 2.31 million were found among the bottles. Smugglers rushed to ferry goods from duty-free Hong Kong to the mainland.
As the General Administration of Customs in China claimed, the seizure took place at Heung Yuen Wai Control Point, connecting Hong Kong and Shenzhen. The latest land port – Liantang Port – was opened last August.
The smuggling was declared as 18.57 tons of imported rubber and plastic buttons, but an inspection revealed that the goods in the shipment were in fact luxury wines, various seafood and hair products, worth more than US$ 2.31 million, according to the estimate made by customs.
The contrabands found by the authorities consisted of 4174 bottles of Bordeaux first growths Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Chateau Mouton Rothschild, Penfolds 707, Champagne and whiskies.
On the mainland, one would pay USD 771 a bottle for Penfolds 707. And considering the picture released by the customs, at least 20 cases of the premium Australian wine can be found among the smuggled fine wines.
Demand for Penfolds, perhaps one of the best-known imported wine brands in China, surged after the country imposed about 218% anti-dumping duties on Australian wines, making wine less affordable and available.
Interestingly, while the overall supply of Australian wines to mainland China has plummeted, imports to Hong Kong have skyrocketed. From January to May this year, imports of Australian wines to Hong Kong increased by more than 340% year on year to USD 133.8 million over the same period last year.
Prepared by Oleksandra Hryhorieva based on vino-joy.com