Operation Cactus was launched 18 months ago after Portuguese police contacted their Spanish counterparts for permission to wiretap a gang that was shipping alcohol into Spain illegally. Officers from both forces have spent months listening in to conversations between the gang on both sides of the border.
Orujos de Galicia, the denomination of origin that represents around 100 companies in the sector, has called on the Spanish government to set an example and end the trade in illegal alcohol. The organization’s president, José Antonio Feijóo, says that many well-known restaurants throughout Spain are serving contraband booze.
“You go to restaurants in Madrid, and they all have contacts in Galicia that send them home-made spirits. The authorities here are obliged to stop this. We have to be more aware of the dangers to the public.” So, next time you’re offered a chupito at the end of your meal, you might want to ask to see the label.Or, say 'José sent me.'