The Gautam Budh Nagar excise department, along with the Gautam Budh Nagar police, on Wednesday caught staffers of a pub in Gardens Galleria mall in Sector 38A allegedly filling cheap liquor in empty bottles of expensive liquor and selling it to customers at the rates of premium brands.

Two employees of the pub have been arrested and the excise department has initiated the procedure to suspend the bar licence of the pub, Clinque, said officials who carried out the search on Tuesday morning.

“The excise department received information from confidential informers that the pub has been mixing cheap liquor in bottles of expensive brands and charging customers premium rates. On the basis of this information, a search was conducted at the pub on Tuesday evening along with the local police and the staffers were caught red-handed by the department,” said Subodh Kumar, district excise officer, Gautam Budh Nagar.

He further said, “When the team reached the pub, two employees fled the spot. After a thorough search of the restaurant premises, a person was found opening bottles of cheap whiskey brand, Zbrand, and filling that liquor into empty bottles of Black Dog, and Teacher’s Highland in the kitchen of the restaurant.”

Excise officials said the staffers filled the used empty bottles and passed off the cheap liquor as expensive brands before customers and charged them premium rates to earn higher profits. An FIR has been registered and two persons have been arrested, said excise officials.

The arrested employees were identified as Mohammad Nawaz, native of Dinajpur, West Bengal, and Mahesh Kumar, of Rae Bareilly.

The police have recovered 293 bottles of foreign liquor and 395 beer cans from the possession of suspects.

“The suspects have been booked under sections of cheating under the Indian Penal Code and relevant sections of the Excise Act. An FIR was registered at the Sector 39 police station against the two arrested suspects and two absconding suspects, identified as Sajjad and Akhtar,” said Kumar.

On the basis of the case, the excise department has issued a show cause notice to the bar licensee.

“We have initiated the procedure to suspend the licence of the pub. According to rules, the bar licensee has been served a show-cause notice by the district excise department to ask why the bar licence should not be suspended, in light of the department’s findings. If the response is not satisfactory, the licence will be suspended,” said Kumar.

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