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May 30, 2022 View:

A man who wanted to transport 3408 bottles of spirits to earn 100 euros was fined 24,000 euros

Intending to earn 100 euros (about $800) for transporting 3,408 bottles of spirits between Luxembourg and France, the 35-year-old Sri Lankan male was eventually arrested while resting in a parking lot in Valdebre at around 2 a.m. on December 9, and his trial was recently announced by the court.

Image courtesy of: Wine Business Watch

At 2:00 a.m. on December 9, a Mercedes-Benz van was parked in the Super U parking lot in Valdebre when it attracted the attention of a police patrol. No less than four pallets of spirits purchased in Luxembourg were found in the suspicious van, after which police quickly took control of the Sri Lankan male in the vehicle, a 35-year-old man who said he was taking a break before returning to La Courneuve in the Ile-de-France region.

Police found the van overloaded with cargo, roughly four pallets of spirits, which included categories of vodka, whiskey and cognac brandy, totaling 3,408 bottles or approximately 94,440 liters. The suspects were eventually detained as they were unable to provide law enforcement with proof of purchase of these liquors.

In court, the defendant also confessed directly to smuggling imported spirits, claiming that before the epidemic he was working in the transport category, but that the recurring epidemic in Europe had caused him to lose his job. He is a father of a seven-year-old and expecting his second child, and chose to take the risk in a difficult financial situation. The 35-year-old male said the smuggling was purely for money and that the wine was obtained in Luxembourg and would be resold in France, with himself responsible for the transport. He said he would be paid 100 euros if he returned to Seine-Saint-Denis without incident.

But things went completely differently than he had planned. The driver was taken to court on Dec. 14. He was finally sentenced to six months of probation and a customs fine of 24,000 euros (about $192,000) for smuggling contraband. The court later seized all the goods found in the truck as well as the vehicle.