TIANJIN - More than 18,600 bottles of counterfeit vodka were destroyed Monday after customs officers seized the goods before they entered the northern city of Tianjin.

Shi Guowang, an official with the Tianjin Customs Office, said the market value of the seized counterfeit vodka amounted to more than 228,000 yuan ($36,190). The products copied the trademark of the Russian brand Stolichnaya and were seized last October.

"Such serious case is very rare in China and it shows the country is also a victim of piracy, which is a global issue," Shi said.

Nigel Bath, director of Asia-pacific Region of SPI Group which registers the trademark Stolichnaya, told Xinhua that he appreciated the serious stance taken by Chinese authorities on intellectual property rights protection.

Bath said the case also marked a positive progress on international cooperation to fight piracy and China's ability to prevent counterfeit goods from entering its border.

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