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Factory indicates illicit sale of booze rampant
Excise officials during a raid on an illegal liquor factory at Gholu Majra village in Lalru. A file photo

Factory indicates illicit sale of booze rampant

Excise official says it was being sold at vends in city, Punjab16 Nov 2018 | 2:16 AM

MOHALI: The manufacturing of several country-made brands of liquor at an illegal factory in Lalru clearly indicates that the sale of illicit liquor is rampant in the area.

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Akash Ghai
Tribune News Service
Mohali, November 15

The manufacturing of several country-made brands of liquor at an illegal factory in Lalru clearly indicates that the sale of illicit liquor is rampant in the area. This was stated by a senior officer of the Excise and Taxation Department here.

Talking to Chandigarh Tribune on condition of anonymity, the officer said illicit liquor was being packed properly in bottles having labels of various country-made brands. The liquor was being sold mainly at liquor vends in Punjab and Chandigarh.

According to an estimate of the raiding team, those running the factory were preparing between 700 and 1,000 cases of illicit liquor daily and the product was being supplied to liquor vends in Chandigarh and the peripheral areas of Punjab.

“The illicit liquor bottles exactly look like the original ones. The labels of these bottles also have holograms. We were surprised to see fake holograms at the factory. This also points towards another big scam of making fake holograms, which needs to be checked immediately by the police and other related agencies,” said the officer, adding that apart from 1,25,479 labels of different brands of liquor, they had also recovered 1,20,000 fake holograms from the factory.

The team was also surprised to see a fully automatic plant, which was apparently set up around eight months ago.

According to the local police, two Sirsa-based persons, Vikram Khanna and Pawan Kumar, had taken the factory site, spread over around 1,000 sq yards, on a monthly rent of Rs 65,000 from Varinder Malik, a Chandigarh-based businessman, in January this year. “A rent deed was also executed between the parties in this regard,” said Inspector Amarpreet Singh, Station House Officer of the Lalru police station.

Officials of the Excise and Taxation Department and the police said the involvement of an inter-state liquor mafia could not be ruled out.

Members of the raiding team also recovered labels of ‘Miss India’ brand, which is sold in Uttar Pradesh. “It seems the illicit liquor was also being supplied to Uttar Pradesh from here,” said the police.

Possibility of more such plants in area

Officials said there was a possibility of more such plants being run from the area to manufacture illicit liquor of premium and regular brands. 

“You have to arrange fake labels, holograms and bottles of brands. Since all such paraphernalia was available at the plant, it was capable of manufacturing any kind of illicit liquor here,” said the official.   

Plant machinery locally made

According to an excise official, the machinery and other equipment installed at the raided liquor factory in Lalru were locally made. 

“The machinery and equipment were manufactured in the Dera Bassi area. We are collecting more information before initiating any action in this regard,” said the official. 

Case registered against two 

A case under Sections 272, 420, 465, 468 and 470 of the IPC and under the Excise Act has been registered against Vikram Khanna and Pawan Kumar, both residents of Sirsa, at the Lalru police station. “Further investigations are on in the case. If required, more names will be included in the FIR,” said inspector Amarpreet Singh.  

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