Customs Officers Seize 8,400 Litres of Illegal Alcohol Up To End of August
Customs officers checked all seized spirits for methanol, which was not detected in dangerous quantities. Credit: Freepik.
Prague, Sept 21 (CTK) – The Czech customs administration had seized almost 8,400 litres of illegal spirits in the country in the first eight months of this year, according to representatives of the General Directorate of Customs, more than 5,000 litres of which were discovered during road checks.
More than 3,300 litres were found in licensed establishments, they said, almost one-third more than the same period last year, while the amount of seized alcohol on the roads increased by about 300%.
This year, customs officers carried out 2,253 checks on the roads, and seized illegal spirits in 52 cases. Last year, 2,097 checks were carried out and illegal liquor was found in 30 cases.
Customs officers carried out 429 inspections at establishments this year and found misconduct in 87 cases, 40 more than in the whole of 2022.
Customs officers seized the most liquor (more than 3,000 litres) for breach of tax regulations on the roads of the South Moravia and Olomouc regions, being transported from Italy to Lithuania. The liquor is most often transported by vehicles with Bulgarian registration plates; so far this year, customs officers have registered 17 such cases, seizing 1,015 litres of unstamped bottled alcohol.
Customs officers have also recorded illegal handling of unstamped alcohol in establishments, markets and other premises intended for business. Most often, they find unstamped spirits in restaurants, bars, cafes and convenience stores. In a nationwide inspection operation carried out in July, they revealed nearly 90 violations of rules, and seized 570 litres of spirits during more than 500 checks.
Customs officers checked all seized spirits for methanol, which was not detected in dangerous quantities. Given the increase in illicit handling of alcohol, the customs authority plans to continue inspections of selected products.
The production of alcohol and beverages containing alcohol is subject to certain legal obligations, customs officials noted.
Beverages that contain alcohol are subject to excise tax, and the bottle containing it must be stamped with a special label if the total alcohol content of the product is at least 15% ethanol by volume. Those who violate the obligations in the production of alcohol face a fine of up to CZK 10 million, while failure to use the required stamping can be fined up to CZK 5 million.