1.3L illicit liquor bottles seized in last 4 months
New Delhi: Delhi government’s excise department has seized 1.34 lakh bottles of illicit liquor, including 39,000 bottles of foreign liquor, from different parts of the capital between June and September 10 this year. A majority of the seized liquor was brought from Haryana for sale in Delhi and beyond.
The seizure uncovers the largescale smuggling of illicit liquor in the city, especially the areas bordering Haryana.
Atotal of 194 persons were arrested during the raids and 2,000 FIRs were lodged. “We seized 117 vehicles that were used to ferry the liquor. The total seized liquor included 35,046 bottles of foreign liquor, 39,903 bottles of Indian-made foreign liquor, and 59,716 bottles of country-made liquor,” said an official.
The areas from where the seizures were made include Lajpat Nagar, Dabri, Nangloi, Anand Vihar, Narela, Timarpur, Hazrat Nizamuddin, Mukherji Nagar, Pandav Nagar, and Paharganj, among other areas.
“The raids will be further intensified. In one of the biggest seizures recently, last month the team of Excise Intelligence Bureau (EIB) along with Crime Branch of Delhi Police carried out a raid at Paschim Vihar, from where 35,000 bottles of foreign liquor manufactured in Australia, France, and Italy were recovered. The owners could not produce any valid liquor license for storing and selling the liquor,” said excise commissioner Amjad Tak.
The excise department has mobilized its EIB team and made deployment for gathering information so that it can crack down on smuggling of illicit liquor.
A major reason for smuggling of liquor is the difference in its prices in Haryana and Delhi. “Various liquors are cheaper in Haryana as compared to Delhi, which is exploited by some to smuggle liquor here,” said a source. Another major reason is the lack of an adequate number of liquor shops in some unauthorised areas where a large number of people live, mostly on the outskirts of Delhi.
The department has also taken action against 18 restaurants and bars for violating different excise rules. “Several restaurants and bars were found serving liquor to underage customers. A police complaint was lodged against all such premises,” said an official.