A former bar captain at a three-Michelin-starred restaurant in Macau has been arrested for substituting cheap wines for 50 bottles of top Burgundy wine, Apple Daily reported Thursday.
The real bottles of wine were worth a total of HK$2.13 million (US$275,400).
After the 30-year-old man, surnamed Peng, resigned from Robuchon au Dôme in November, the restaurant found last month that there was something strange about the labels on the 50 bottles of wine and confirmed they had been switched.
The restaurant, at the Grand Lisboa Hotel — owned by SJM Holdings Ltd., controlled by the family of casino magnate Stanley Ho Hung-sun — suspected Peng was the culprit and called him for an explanation.
Peng admitted he had made the switch. When he returned to the restaurant Monday, police came and took him away.
He told the police he downloaded fake labels of famous wine brands from the web and attached them to bottles of cheap wine that cost only about HK$100 each.
Peng sold 43 bottles of the stolen premium wine online for a total of more than 800,000 yuan (US$128,800). He said he had spent all the gains from the online sales.
The other seven bottles were entrusted with a Japanese wine agent, he said.
The hotel did not respond to the newspaper’s query about whether customers who visited the restaurant after the switch could have been served with fake wine.
Photos provided by police show that the stolen 50 bottles were mainly from two brands of red wine, Romanée Conti and La Tâche, and a white wine, Montrachet.
All were made by Domaine de La Romanée Conti, considered one of the world’s top winemakers, in the Burgundy wine district of France.
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