The Policía de Control Fiscal put a real damper on festivities late last week. The agency intercepted a truck carrying 48,823 containers of untaxed whiskey, rum, vodka and beer.
The agency said it received an anonymous tip about a truck carrying the goods. When the driver was stopped, he produced a document that the tax police said was faked.
The alcohol came from Panamá.
Prices of beer and hard liquor are such that smuggling and bootlegging can be profitable. Tax police and others at the Panamá border are aggressive and are known to confiscate even small amounts of alcohol coming from the south. They also are active in finding commercial stills in the metro area that produce counterfeit scotch, guaro and other drinks. Frequently these are packaged under legitimate brand names for distribution.