A raid on an illegal distillery in Sterea Ellada, led to the confiscation of 105,000 liters of bootleg tsipouro last week.

According to the police statement, the distillery had been operating from 2010 and had been producing tsipouro from a warehouse in central Fthiotida.

The police made two arrests at the site, although the leader of the group, a local who is working at the public sector, remains elusive with a warrant issued for this arrest.

Tsipouro, a strong and clear distilled spirit produced from the pomace of grapes, is one of the traditional products of Greece.

Although there is a number of distilleries of various sizes and capacities, producing high quality tsipouro, there is a large quantity of home-produced tsipouro circulating.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) estimates that up to 19 million liters of bootleg tsipouro is being sold annually in Greece, almost equal to the official bottled product, which amounts to 24 million liters – which leads authorities to the assessment that the illegal distilleries are responsible for great tax evasion, let alone the potential risk to the health of the consumers buying this unregulated product.

The pursuit of illegal distilleries was included to the OECD Competition Assessment Toolkit handed to the Greek government, in regards with tackling tax evasion and reforming the economy.