Action coordinated with other security agencies resulted in the seizure of about 22 thousand bottles of wine with an estimated value of R$ 4 million.
The Federal Revenue carried out between February 28 and March 4 the "Operação Dionísio", the largest integrated action to combat the irregular entry of alcoholic beverages in the border region with Argentina. In all, about 22 thousand bottles of wine and sparkling wines were seized in the period, with actions directed at warehouses, stores, carriers and post offices, in addition to approaches on the roads of Paraná, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul. The seized bottles , some with retail resale value close to R$ 2,000, have an estimated value of 4 million.
The action counted on the participation of several other security agencies, such as the Federal Police, the Federal Highway Police, and the Military Police of Paraná and Santa Catarina.
The head of the Federal Revenue Enforcement and Counterfeiting Repression Division, tax auditor Tsuyoshi Ueda, highlighted the relevance of integrated action for the success of the operation. “When we add all the knowledge and experience that each public agency has in its area of operation, we achieve much higher results. This is the most effective way to fight organized crime. It is also important to highlight the exchange of information between the Federal Revenue and the Argentine Customs, in order to have a safer border ”, highlighted Ueda.
The seizure of wines in the border region with Argentina has grown over the past few years. In 2019, around 6 million beverages were seized. This number jumped to more than 18 million in 2020 and, in those first months of 2021, it already exceeds 10 million reais.
The fight against the illegal entry of wines into the country aims to protect the national industry and combat unfair competition, since traders who legally import beverages are unable to maintain competitiveness in the face of tax evaders and end up closing the doors, increasing unemployment .
In addition to that, wines introduced irregularly have no health control, are transported and stored irregularly, which can cause serious damage to the health of consumers.
How the operation was oganized The Federal Revenue selected the targets of the action based on data collected over the past few months and exchanged information with other agencies, which allowed the location of warehouses, carriers and stores that violated the law in their activities. In Francisco Beltrão (PR), for example, an establishment that in theory would be a furniture factory was just the front for an illegal warehouse.
Simultaneously with the actions in the establishments, the security agencies involved in the operation intensified surveillance on the roads in the South, which resulted in significant seizures of wine bottles in both passenger vehicles and trucks destined for regions of the country. Seized passenger vehicles were modified with a device that released smoke from the rear to make it difficult to chase during an eventual escape.
The Federal Revenue also carried out inspections at post offices in search of goods sent without legal procedures. With portable scanners, bottles of wine with retail value close to R$ 2 thousand were identified and were sent in an irregular manner.
More than 40 Federal Revenue officials participated in the operations. Seizures were recorded in 16 municipalities in the states of Paraná, Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul and Goiás. The name of the operation alludes to Dionísio, the Greek god of wine, as well as the fact that the municipality of Dionísio Cerqueira (SC) is one of the main border points used for the attempt of illegal entry of Argentine wines.
Representatives of the Federal Revenue will be available at the Customs of Dionísio Cerqueira (SC), from 9 am to 3 pm, to give individual interviews about the operation. As of 4 pm, the official closure will take place in the Integrated Control Area, with the participation of the bodies that operate in Operation Dionysus, with a press conference.