While temperatures have fallen around Taiwan, the production and consumption of rice wine has increased. This has led to an increase in illegal alcohol production as well. Yesterday, Taipei police and Ministry of Finance authorities busted an illegal rice wine brewing operation in the Yangmingshan area, UDN reported.
Police confiscated 12,400 liters of finished and unfinished rice wine at the site. The total market value of the illegal products is estimated at NT$860,000. Authorities said it was the largest illegal alcohol bust in history. Due to the size of the operation, those involved could face a fine of five times the value of the illegal alcohol, up to a maximum of NT$10 million.
The Ministry of Finance said that privately-brewed rice wine production equipment and tools may not be sanitary. Furthermore, ingredients have not been inspected for quality and drinking the liquor may be detrimental to health. The ministry said that if members of the public discover homemade alcohol for sale, they can call the 1999 public hotline to file a report. The highest reward for reporting such illegal activity is NT$4.8 million.