MEXICO – Mexican marines have impounded 9.5 tons of liquid methamphetamine filled in 7,200 Mezcal bottles bound for Australia.

The meth was found in a container on board a Liberian ship; the drug stash was concealed in bottles labeled with the fictional brand name Mezcal Social and their contents marked as ‘artisanal mezcal’.

Mezcal is a Mexican distilled alcoholic beverage made from any type of agave and is also considered a drink of artisan origin. Mexican brand counterfeiting reaches new heights.

Last April, Mexican officials at the same port intercepted a single haul of 11,520 Tequila bottles filled with almost 10 tons of liquid meth, which was also destined for Australia. In 2020, Mexico News Daily claimed that some Tequila brands are “allies for narcos” and helping cartels to launder drug money.

In May this year, Mexican police also sieved over 20,000 bottles of counterfeit Coca-Cola in a rough neighborhood on the east side of Mexico City.

Most of the bottles were empty, but some were filled with what prosecutors called “supposed” cola, a clear indication that the fraudsters are trying to exploit the demand for “Mexican Cola.”

Looking further back, in 2017, the US State Department warned about the presence of possible counterfeit alcohol in Mexico after one death potentially linked to tainted drinks in a resort.

The warning read: “There had been allegations of dodgy alcohol that had resulted in illness or blacking out. If you choose to drink alcohol, it is important to do so in moderation and to stop and seek medical attention if you begin to feel ill.”

According to a 2015 report from Mexico’s Tax Administration Service, 43 percent of alcohol consumed in the country is illegal with unregulated production.

Meanwhile, a 2017 report by Mexico’s Federal Commission for Protection against Health Risks, states that more than 1.4 million gallons of adulterated alcohol had been seized in the country since 2010.

Most adulterated alcohol is tainted with cheaper alternatives to ethanol, such as methanol, which is used in anti-freeze.

A lawyer working on behalf of the deceased family visited the resort where the Connor children were found unconscious and noted that the alcoholic drinks served in the pool area were of “bad quality”.

In response to the publicity, the company behind the resort, Spain-based Iberostar, released a statement saying the company adheres to regulatory standards and “only purchases sealed bottles [of alcohol] that satisfy all standards required by the designated regulatory authorities.”

For all the latest food industry news from Africa and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube channel.