Liquor smuggling: Despite Haryana report, Punjab yet to initiate probe

Liquor smuggling: Despite Haryana report, Punjab yet to initiate probe

Photo for representational purpose only

Aman Sood

Tribune News Service

Patiala, August 8

While the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has decided to probe the role of Rajpura-based NV Distilleries, mentioned in at least 14 cases of liquor smuggling across Haryana, the Punjab Excise Department is awaiting a communique from its Haryana counterpart to initiate investigations against the distillery.

A senior ED official said they would conduct a probe to ascertain if liquor illegally diverted to Haryana was also being distributed in Punjab. “We are concerned with the black money being generated thus. We will look into the possibility of money-laundering through liquor smuggling,” an official said. Sources said the ED had sought details of FIRs filed in Haryana and Punjab when liquor cases from NV Distillery were confiscated by the Punjab Police, “but the name of the distillery was not mentioned in the FIR.” The Special Enquiry Team (SET) probing the Haryana liquor scam had sought information from Punjab’s Principal Secretary, Excise and Taxation, on June 25, who replied that 22,936 cases of liquor of Rajpur-based NV Distillery remained unaccounted for.

“We had found 22,936 cases of liquor meant for other states in a godown of NV Distillery. We have already sought an explanation”, said Punjab Principal Secretary (Excise and Taxation) A Venu Prasad. “We are yet to get a copy of the the Haryana probe report,” he said.

Senior officials claimed that without the government nod, no officer in Punjab would dare initiate action against any distillery in the state. Prasad, however, said: “If we get anything against NV distillery, we will conduct a probe.”

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