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Police seize one million liters of alcohol buried under cement

By Mason White 4:23 AM May 22, 2013
Women drinking alcohol illustration 

By: Sarah Weiss
Police seized hundreds of thousand of gallons in illegal alcohol found buried under cement, according to a statement released by police in the Czech Republic.

Czech Police found a million liters of alcohol hidden in underground tanks, in one of the largest seizures of untaxed alcohol in history.

Police have been chasing an extended network of untaxed alcohol manufacturers and distributors after poisonous methyl alcohol killed 45 people and forced the government to ban all sales of alcoholic beverages for several weeks, late last year.

A spokesperson for the police said that officers found the illegal alcohol in several industrial locations in the mining center of Ostrava, Czech Republic in the east near the border of Poland and Slovakia, and in a place near the border of northern Germany.

“We found the alcohol in plants, in some places buried under a layer of two meters of concrete and rubble,” police said in a statement.

Video footage showed officers and firefighters using an excavator, a pneumatic drill and steel cutters to reveal storage sites.
Tax evasion by the sale of the alcohol would amount to $15.45 million, police said.

The Czech Republic is one of the countries with the highest alcohol consumption in Europe and is the world leader in per capita beer consumption of about 140 liters per year. Hard alcohol flavors from ethanol is widely available in bars, shops and market stalls, and popular especially among the poorest of Czechs.

“The problem with untaxed alcohol is deeper than just the tax evasion. Since there is no oversight on the production, the products are sometimes poisonous, as we saw late last year. Hopefully, the big loss of 1 million liters will stop people from producing the illegal alcohol drinks,” Arlene, Adams, 24, of Kearney, Nebraska told when asked to comment on the one million liter alcohol seizure.

Police said they have not charged anyone in connection with the case yet. Last year, dozens of people were charged after police traced poisonous alcohol to illegal alcohol producers.