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Russian Pensioners Face Trial Over Bootleg Vodka

Vladimir Smirnov / TASS

Three senior citizens are facing trial for running an illegal vodka distillery in central Russia’s Chelyabinsk region, prosecutors and local media have said.

The female bootleggers reportedly hired local residents and used leftover equipment at a mothballed factory in the city of Verkhneuralsk to kick start their operation.

Prosecutors allege that the suspects attempted to illegally manufacture more than 130,000 bottles of counterfeit alcohol worth 25.6 million rubles ($408,000). 

Police shut down the operation in March 2018 after the suspects had produced more than 40,000 bottles since November 2017, the prosecutor’s office said in a statement Friday. 

The alleged perpetrators were not named but were identified as three female retirees, the Ura.ru news website cited the prosecutors as saying.

They face charges of illegal production and storage of unmarked goods, trademark infringement and use of forged identification marks.

The most serious of the charges carries a prison sentence of up to six years.

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