A gang of counterfeiters relabelled $200 bottles of wine then passed them off to customers as 1982 Chateau Lafite Rothschild, which sells for up to $5,700 a bottle, Customs investigators said yesterday. Customs said the gang also put genuine-looking seals on the bottles before selling them to wine shops for as much as $1,100 each. It also produced counterfeit brandy in an underground liquor-making centre operating from a village house in Sai Kung, the head of the Customs Intelligence and Liaison Bureau, Lai Chun-kong, said. An unemployed man, 34, his father, 60, and a shopowner were arrested and 30 bottles of 'Chateau Lafite Rothschild 1982' seized. Mr Lai said each bottle was suspected to contain wine worth about $200. It is not known how many bottles of wine were sold through the shops or how much customers paid for the fake vintage. Equipment worth thousands of dollars, fake labels and seals of the top-class French wine were also seized, along with a book called A Comprehensive Guide to Wines Produced From 1961 to 1997. Thomas Yip Fuk-chang, who has been in the wine industry for more than 30 years, said members of the public might be easily fooled but connoisseurs could spot the difference. Some 700 bottles of various brands of counterfeit brandy and whisky - including Hennessy X.O., Remy Martin and Martell Cordon Bleu - were found. Officers also seized corks, genuine brandy and whisky bottles and boxes, ethyl alcohol, caramel, and utensils. A further 117 bottles of allegedly fake brandy and whisky, believed to be from the plant, were discovered in a Tsim Sha Tsui shop. The owner of the shop was arrested. Officers said the seizure was worth about $480,000. The operation came after a two-week investigation. Those arrested were released on bail.