More than 10,000 bottles of Penfold’s wine will be destroyed after customs officers intercepted the undeclared shipment in a container at the Port of Kaohsiung yesterday, May 21. The estimated value of the haul is NT$30 million (AUD $1.3 million).
Customs officers studying the manifest of a cargo ship were suspicious about the contents of a 40-foot container originating in Hong Kong and slated for re-export to Busan, Korea. Upon opening the container, the officers found that alongside the documented computer components declared on the manifest, was a shipment of 10,968 bottles of Penfold’s premium wines, including Old Faithful Cafe Block Shiraz, which has a 4.3 out of five rating, and is considered to be in the world’s top 10% of red wines, according to Vivino.com.
Kaohsiung Customs said the wine has been handed over to the Kaohsiung City Finance Bureau for destruction. The wine appears to be high quality with an estimated value of NT$2,000 to NT$3,000 per bottle. Although it seems a pity, the undeclared merchandise must be destroyed according to law, said a customs official.
The chief of the tobacco and alcohol section of the Kaohsiung City Finance Bureau pointed out that the labels were in English, and did not have Chinese, therefore, they could not judge whether the source is fake. If the wine is simply sold, it could have an affect on public health.
The Bureau of Investigation is trying to identify the owner of the container. If found guilty of violating customs regulations, the owner of the shipment may face a maximum penalty of NT$6 million.
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