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Tons of unlicensed tsikoudia (raki) seized in Crete

Two Cretan producers of traditional tsikoudia, a clear spirit made by distilling grape pomace that is also known as raki, face hundreds of thousands of euros in fines after being caught without the proper permits.

The two producers were arrested in separate operations in the region of Iraklio, where one was operating a distillery in Moires and the other in Malevizi, as part of a crackdown on the unlicensed production of the spirit, which is ubiquitous on the island and made by hundreds of families for domestic use but also on an industrial scale.

Authorities seized 16.6 tons of tsikoudia from the Melvizi distillery and another 6.5 tons in Moires, with each undeclared ton carrying a fine of 12,500 euros.

According to the president of the Greek Association of Grape Growers, both units are licensed but were lacking a distillation permit from customs.

It should be noted that the specific cauldrons were operating legally, however the quantities found there were not justified by the declared quantities that, according to the documents, were to be distilled on the specified dates.

The fine that awaits those in charge of the specific cauldrons (rakokazana) is expected to be heavy, as based on the current legislative framework, the undeclared ton reaches 25,000 euros!

However, speaking to local media, distillers said that the existing framework is unfair for producers as the fines are the same as those for beverage manufacturers. They pointed out that there should be different fines and measures for the operating regime of small distillers. [kathimerini, zarpanews]

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One comment

  1. Given the huge wipeout of Grapes in Crete this year, I am left wondering where the grape skins have come from?

    Raki is great for cleaning jobs!