74 year old is bootlegger, judicial police allege

Judicial Police detained a 74-year-old man Monday for making bootlegged alcohol in a makeshift cauldron in his house in southern Costa Rica.

Agents reported that the man is dedicated to the trade of illegal alcohol, producing and selling roughly 10 gallons per week. Police say he has been involved in the illicit trade for the last 40 years and grows all the needed ingredients, such as sugar cane, on his property, Then he cooks them in his home-assembled equipment. His property is located in the Altamira de Biolley sector, in Buenos Aires de Puntarenas.

When agents raided the house they said they recovered more than 74 liters, held in several different containers, ready to be distributed and sold.

Illegal alcohol producers usually have the common goal of finding ways to skirt government regulation and taxes. Legally produced alcohol is regulated and taxed up to almost 50 percent of it’s retail value.

In recent months police have disrupted several larger operations. One bust involved an illegal manufacturing operation in which the bootlegged liquor was distilled in country and then labeled with popular and expensive brand names for resale. The most recent bust involved a ring of distributors who brought liquor hidden in trucks from Panamá and then distributed it from Cartago to avoid paying national taxes. Police caught on because the bottles was being resold for uncommonly low prices.

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