Three arrested in illicit liquor racket

What’s inside? Excise officials display the alcohol bottles seized in the raid.   | Photo Credit: Emmanual Yogini

The State Excise Department has arrested three people for allegedly running an illicit liquor racket out of a godown in Taloja and seized liquor worth ₹25.12 lakh, which was to be sold in the black market as premium imported Scotch.

The three accused have been identified as Valji Ravriya (31), Shrinivas Kewat (30) and Rajjan Kewat (21).

The excise officials were led to the godown on Tuesday by Kiran Sood (39), whom they had arrested with 14 bottles of liquor in Tardeo on Monday. The sealed bottles were of various imported whisky brands, worth ₹87,365 in the open market. But upon investigation, officials found that the bottles contained standard liquor.

Mr. Sood then pointed the investigators to the middleman from whom he had sourced the consignment.

Jackkie Karbhari, sub-inspector, State Excise, said Mr. Sood had no clue regarding where the bottles actually came from. “Using his lead, we investigated further and through other middlemen, we located the godown in Taloja,” he said. There the officials found 328 sealed 1,000 ml bottles of premium brands such as Johnnie Walker Black Label, Jack Daniel’s, Glenmorangie and Chivas Regal. They also found 32 sealed 750 ml bottles and 211 cans of Budweiser.

“It was essentially a small bottling unit, where they were manually filling used bottles and sealing them. The alcohol was being sourced from Goa,” Mr. Karbhari said, adding that alcohol from the neighbouring State routinely makes its way across the border.

The three accused will soon be presented in court, while Mr. Sood has been granted bail. Mr. Karbhari said investigations are under way to find out if more such units are in operation.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 8:35:40 AM |

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