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Amritsar (Global News) Punjab Excise department on Wednesday busted an organized module selling smuggled imported Scotches without holograms in Amritsar district and seized 2150 cases of illicit liquor.

Giving the details, Excise Commissioner, Punjab Mr. Rajat Agarwal informed that Excise department has once again tightened the noose on persons involved in smuggling and selling non duty paid liquor in Punjab. A secret information was received that few persons are involved in selling smuggled and non-duty paid expensive imported brands of scotches and imported beer in Amritsar and adjoining areas evading the Excise duties and Levies, which caused huge loss to state exchequer.

Acting on the tip-off immediately, the team of Special Operation Group of Excise Department swung into action and conducted recce of the suspected persons involved in the trade. It came to notice that the accused persons have set up two illegal godowns in Amritsar where huge quantity of expensive imported liquor brands are illegally stored and the accused have stake in liquor business in some groups in Amritsar.

On the intervening night of December 9/10, 2021, the teams identified the location of two illegal godowns which were raided.

1. Godown situated at Dana mandi road, Bhagtanwala was raided and approximately 1397 cs of IMFL, SCOTCHES & IMPORTED BEER were recovered.

2. Godown situated at khairabad road near B.B.Enclave was raided and 760 cs of IMFL, SCOTCHES & IMPORTED BEER were recovered.

Sizable quantity of liquor was found without holograms. Liquor smuggled from Chandigarh having holograms of Chandigarh was also found from the godowns. Some cases of liquor had the holograms of Punjab State pasted over the Chandigarh holograms, which shows that the accused even smuggled the liquor from Chandigarh and tried to paste Punjab holograms over it in order to make it look like genuine duty paid liquor of Punjab state. This liquor was allegedly being sold through network of bootleggers or to marriage palaces and bars thereby causing loss to state exchequer. Multiple teams were called in from other districts to take stock of godowns and thorough checking of recovered stock was done by teams. After day long checking and scrutiny of stock at both godowns F.I.R. No. 284 dt 11/12/21 was registered at P.S. Gate Hakima, Police Commissionerate, Amritsar and another F.I.R no.267 dt 11/12/21 was registered at P.S.kamboj, Amritsar Rural.

On December 10, 2021, Bars in nearby areas of illegal godowns were also checked by the teams of Excise Department and in three bars namely:

1. Club house L4, L5 Airport road Amritsar.

2. Elgin Café L4, L5 Airport road Amritsar.

3. Bon Adda L4, L5 Airport road Amritsar.

Similar stock of imported liquor was found. Some stock in the bars was without holograms and some stock of smuggled liquor from Chandigarh was also found in one Bar.

F.I.R. No. 43, 44, 45 dt 11/12/21 P.S. AIRPORT, Amritsar for violations of Punjab Excise Act was registered against all the three bars .

Mr Agarwal said the Excise Dept will continue to pursue a zero tolerance policy regarding smuggling of liquor or any illegal activity relating to Excise is concerned. Strict action would be taken as per law and guilty will not be spared. Entire chain of forward and backward linkages leading to disclosure of the main suppliers and recipient of smuggled liquor is being minutely examined.

He further said that Excise department is working in close coordination with Police under Operation Red Rose. Under Operation Red Rose, for the period from 17.5.2020 to 11.12.2021, 19784 FIRs have been registered in which 19689 persons have been arrested, 332693 lts illicit liquor, 868517 lts licit liquor, 2170883 kgs of lahan, 900 working stills have been detected. The department of Excise & Taxation has already started toll free no. +91 98759 61126 for receiving complaints from aware citizens. The Department solicits willful co-operation of the citizens to nip the menace of illegal liquor from the state.