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25,000 litres of fake tequila goes up in flames

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25,000 litres of fake tequila goes up in flames
The spirits were destroyed on Thursday morning. Photo: DPA
14:52 CET+01:00
What do you do with 25,000 litres of fake tequila? Set fire to it, apparently - with the Mexican Ambassador and the Tequila Regulation Council standing by to make sure the job's done properly.

Authorities in Schleswig-Holstein were faced with a headache-inducing task on Thursday morning.

A huge shipment of "tequila" seized in Hamburg had proven to be fake, and needed to be destroyed - 25,000 litres of it, in fact.

Mexico's Ambassador to Germany Patricia Espinosa Cantellano was present as the spirits were set alight on Thursday at 11am at a sewage treatment centre in Hetlingen, Schleswig-Holstein.

An official delegate from Mexico also attended, alongside journalists and members of Mexico's Tequila Regulation Council, which had helped sniff out the fraudulent booze.

Burning off the spirits will provide energy for the plant's in-house heat and power station.

Customs officials seized the spirits in Hamburg docks on October 10th, after receiving a tip-off from Mexican authorities about an inbound tanker full of moonshine.

After examinations in Berlin and Mexico, it was determined that the "tequila" had the correct alcohol volume of 65.1 percent - but was also completely fake.

To be classed as tequila, a spirit has to have been distilled from the blue agave plant, mostly found around the city of Tequila in the state of Jalisco.

Norddeutsche Rundfunk presenter Christian Husel suggested that it would be an "intoxicating Christmas party" at the customs this year.

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