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Suspected Bordeaux wine theft gang facing trial

Thieves suspected of stealing hundreds of bottles of Bordeaux wine produced by some of the region's top chateaux have been put on trial this week.

Chateau d’Yquem was burgled in 2013.

Seventeen suspects will go before a court in Bordeaux accused of playing some part in a series of wine thefts, France Bleu Radio reported.

The case follows on from a mass police operation involving 300 French gendarmes and months of detective work, which led to dawn raids and arrests across France in February 2014.

Nicknamed ‘Casse vin’, police believe the suspects were responsible for a string of burglaries at chateaux in including Yquem, Palmer and Leoville Las Cases.

It is thought the total value of wine stolen is around 1m euros.

Tribunal hearings for the 17 defendants are expected to last until Thursday 25 June.

At the time of the police raids last year, Colonel Ghislain Rety, who led the operation, said officers recovered some bottles worth more than 1,000 euros each.

Police recovered ‘many hundreds’ of bottles, he said. It is also believed that thieves attempted to sell some wines abroad.

In one of the burglaries believed to be part of the case, Chateau d’Yquem lost 380 half-bottles of its 2010 vintage from its own cellars.

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