Montreal cops seize 8,000 bottles of illegal kosher wine
search
Operation ManischewitzOperation Manischewitz

Montreal cops seize 8,000 bottles of illegal kosher wine

Two arrested after authorities find 650 cases in synagogue basement in apparent Passover-related bootlegging bust

Illustrative photo of kosher wine production in Israel. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of kosher wine production in Israel. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

MONTREAL — Police seized some 8,000 bottles of kosher wine in what appeared to be a Passover-related bootlegging bust at a Montreal synagogue.

Two men were arrested at the Young Israel of Montreal synagogue on April 26, where police found 650 cases of kosher wine – from Israel, Australia, and the US – in its basement.

Quebec prohibits the private sale of alcohol except through mandated provincial agency stores, although some wines and beers sold at grocery stores are exempt.

Also allowed is some private importing of alcohol as long as special taxes are paid to the agency, known as a Crown corporation.

According to news reports, increased Passover demand for kosher wines combined with a minimal selection at agency stores and prohibitive prices prompted the creation of illegal “stores.”

Such stores are something of an “open secret” within the Jewish community come holiday time.

“There is not a big kosher selection [at the agency stores],” one synagogue member told Global News. The police “always seem like they are coming down hard.”

In 2010, a Hasidic synagogue in Montreal was charged with illegally bringing in about 1,000 bottles of kosher wine without a permit.

read more:
comments