published: 29.10.2012, 19:04 | updated: 29.10.2012 19:17:47
Prague - The four accused men, who were detained along with another four over illegal alcohol sales on Thursday, are suspected of tax evasion worth 200 million crowns, Czech Squad for Uncovering Organised Crime chief Robert Slachta told reporters today.
The police have penetrated into the top levels of bootleg alcohol trafficking in the Czech Republic, he added.
Last week, the police detained eight people aged 30-44 years in the vicinity of Ostrava, north Moravia, and in the Zlin region, south Moravia, on suspicion of bootleg liquor sale.
Among them was the wanted Verdana company executive Robert Sedlarik and businessman Radek Brezina, who was hiding from the police in a hotel´s boiler room. Detectives also arrested the company´s copartner and one of the employees.
Three men were accused of tax evasion, the fourth of assistance in the crime. They were remanded in custody. If found guilty, they face up to ten years in prison.
The other four suspects were released.
Last week, detectives carried out 22 home searches, mainly in the Zlin region. Some 300 policemen were also searching buildings in Ostrava, in north Bohemia and in the Vysocina region, situated in south Bohemia and Moravia.
They uncovered 560,000 litres of illegal 96-percent alcohol in a farm complex in Valasske Mezirici, north Moravia, owned by one of the accused.
Moreover, up to 80,000 litres of various liquor with the Likerka Drak labels were found in a hangar in Slusovice, south Moravia, and other illegal alcohol, some 30,000 litres, was revealed in Ostrava, Slachta said.
Experts will further analyse the seized liquor.
According to information from the media, Brezina is behind the Likerka Drak liquor producer.
Previously, 7600 bottles containing liquor with 50 percent of poisonous methanol were found in the storage facility of Verdana, which is an exclusive distributor of Likerka Drak.
Slachta said today Brezina was the only one from the group being prosecuted in connection with the methanol affair.
The scandal erupted in early September. Since then methanol in bootleg liquor has claimed 30 lives. Tens of people have been hospitalised with methanol poisoning symptoms in the country.
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