Border Patrol officers early Thursday raided what was described as a “very large” processing plant in the Arab village of Kafr Bara, located east of Kfar Sava. The plant was producing large amounts of alcohol – illegally. Officers found thousands of bottles of fake products bearing the names of well-known brands of alcoholic beverages. The owner of the plant, a resident of Kafr Bara, was arrested, as were three others – a resident of Carmiel and two foreigners holding Russian passports.
The raid was conducted after Border Patrol officials received a tip Wednesday about the location of the plant, for which they had been searching for over a period of months. Officers conducted a stakeout of the plant, and when its owner and three workers showed up, they were arrested. The bottled whiskey was confiscated and destroyed, and the processing equipment was disabled. Also seized were thousands of labels and bottles, with the labels bearing the name of well-known brands, and the distinctive bottles used by specific brands apparently recycled after their original, legitimate contents had been consumed.
Police are investigating how many bottles had been distributed in the past, who had done the distribution, and whether they were aware of the source of the phony products. Officials emphasized that the contents of the bottles were likely dangerous, as the alcohol was processed in a plant without a license or health inspections, and under very dirty and unhealthful conditions. Police are also investigating the possibility that the alcohol had been exported.