Alcohol bought in black could be a health hazard

Two cases of spurious liquor being sold as original were detected recently.

Two cases of spurious liquor being sold as original were detected recently.   | Photo Credit: ; - L_Balachandar

Spurious liquor being filled in bottles of reputed brands, sealed and sold as original, say Excise officials

If you source alcohol from the black market, there is a possibility that someone might have filled spurious liquor and passed it off as original. Telangana Prohibition and Excise officials warn that consuming spurious liquor could damage internal organs.

Two cases made officials wake up to the implications it can have on people’s health. In both the cases, the accused collected empty liquor bottles, sourced fake metal caps with seals, filled spurious liquor and passed them off as original bottles. The same modus operandi was followed to sell fake foreign liquor too.

In their desperation to buy alcohol after 11 p.m., some are buying bottles from any source they know of, including from fixers who sell liquor after wine shops pull down their shutters. There is another section of people who buy premium foreign liquor in black.

Around 10 days ago, the Excise teams caught Pasupula Mahendar who allegedly sold spurious liquor in Officer’s Choice 180 ml bottles after wine shops close at night. He got empty bottles from scrap shops, and fake metal caps of the brand through a person in Kurnool Andhra Pradesh. The accused used either rectified spirit or Extra Neutral Alcohol (ENA), malt (to avoid smell of alcohol), brown colour and mineral water to prepare the spurious liquor which was poured in the empty bottles and fixed the fake metal caps. Mahendar sold it after wine shops close, from the past two years.

“He became so perfect that the seal breaks when people open the caps. The accused could fill the spurious liquor in any bottle if he manages to get metal caps of that brand,” sources said. A few days ago, the Excise teams caught a person Krishna Murthy from Kurnool, who allegedly got the fake metal caps, spirits, malt, from a person in Karnataka and supplied it to Mahendar. They caught another person who followed the same method, in 2018, who filled the liquor in foreign liquor bottles.

When asked if there is any way people can detect a fake seal from original one, sources doubted if anyone will have patience to cross check the seal after buying alcohol bottles post 11 p.m.

The Excise officials said that there could be more people who sell such spurious liquor in Hyderabad.

“One can never say the form and quality of spirit they choose to prepare the liquor. This could harm people’s health. There are many people who buy foreign liquor bottles in the black market. Who knows the quality of alcohol in it?” sources said.

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Printable version | Mar 31, 2020 2:23:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/alcohol-bought-in-black-could-be-a-health-hazard/article30837470.ece

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