Three raids turn up suspect liquor that police confiscate

Inspectors go over an inventory of alcohol at a warehouse in San Antonio de Desamparados. Photo: Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública

Police are continuing to confiscate alcohol that they say is adulterated. But there also are cases where the alcohol tax has not been paid.

The Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública said that health officials ordered the confiscation of the alcohol because it was adulterated with ethanol. But ethanol is the substance that gives alcohol its punch. Ethanol frequently is known as drinking alcohol or grain alcohol.

Nevertheless, there were three raids Wednesday. One was at a storage location and two were at supermarkets. Participating were officials from the Fábrica Nacional de Licores, the government alcohol monopoly.

One raid was at a storage facility in San Antonio de Desamparados where vodka with the brand name Sachetto was confiscated along with guaro carrying the Montano label, said police. Sacchetto is a Anheuser-Busch product distilled in Italy.

In Patarra agents located more bottles of Montano and other brands and confiscated some 182 bottles. In the same community at another supermarket the agents located 484 bottles, mostly guaro, said police.

Shipments of untaxed alcohol come in from Panamá because of the loose border conditions there. Tax inspectors have problems with other products, too, such as cigarettes.

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