Wholesalers celebrating a cut in duty fraud on beer say rogue traders are recouping their losses by targeting the wine trade.

One Scottish wholesaler said that retailers had been inundated by attempts to sell below-cost wine.

In April, the government introduced new rules making it much more difficult for criminals to exploit the duty drawback system, which allows traders to claim a duty rebate on beer earmarked for export.

Anheuser-Busch and Miller Brands have recently developed a similar approach to a scheme that Coors launched in February, in which it will only deliver to a customer's primary business address rather than a bonded warehouse. Diageo is expected to reveal its strategy on duty fraud in the next few weeks.

InBev and Scottish & Newcastle are also believed to be working on initiatives to curb duty fraud.

Many wholesalers said they were experiencing an increase in beer sales as illegal supplies dried up.However, it had come at the expense of wine - not covered by the new system.

Wholesaler Steve Parfett said that although fraud on wine was a problem, he was happy with recent events. "For the first time I can remember the disreputable traders are on the defensive," he said.