Excise officers say alcohol is brought from places where the tax is less; cheap liquor sold in bottles of expensive brands is another concern as it may be harmful, they add
A consignment of illicit booze seized by the department in June
In the past three months, the excise department has seized illegal liquor worth Rs 40 crore, up from Rs 26 crore during the same period last year. As part of their crackdown to curb the sale of such alcohol, the department registered 11,079 cases between April and June, said officials.
Sources said flying squads swooped down on several locations in the city and other places in the state and arrested 6,924 people and seized 749 vehicles involved in the illegal trade.
Another major concern for the department is cheap liquor being passed off as expensive brands. An excise official said, “Smugglers buy empty bottles of famous brands from trash collectors. They fill these bottles with substandard booze and sell them for Rs 1,000 or Rs 2,000 less than the market price of the original product.” In the past three months, 17 cases of duplicate scotch brought from other states have been registered. The value of the seized scotch is Rs 87 lakh.
“People buy expensive liquor when it is available for less money, but it can be harmful, particularly if the bottle is not cleaned properly before being filled with cheap liquor,” the official told mid-day.
State Excise Commissioner Kantilal Umap told mid-day, “The state suffers revenue loss due to smuggled liquor. Such liquor can be injurious to health. Hence a special drive to nab the smugglers has been launched. At present, there are 45 flying squads working across the state who are keeping an eye on liquor smugglers.”
During the same period last year, the department had registered 10,081 cases and seized liquor worth over Rs 26 crore. The cost of liquor smuggled from outside Maharashtra was more than Rs 25 crore.
In the financial year 2020-21, smuggled liquor worth nearly R109 crore had been seized. While 45,863 cases were registered, 29,519 people were arrested for their alleged role in the illegal business.
45 No. of flying squads active in the state
Also, on Monday, Maharashtra: Excise Department has Seized Liquor Worth over Rs 1 Crore from Jalgaon District- Tweet by ANI:
Maharashtra: Excise Department seized liquor worth over Rs 1 crore from Jalgaon district and arrested a person for smuggling foreign liquors from other states. pic.twitter.com/z43w6074mD
— ANI (@ANI) July 12, 2021