Hyderabad: Law enforcement agencies in the state are collecting details of persons involved in supplying illegal foreign liquor to customers and belt shops in the state.
This spurious liquor is being packed and sold by organised gangs through various channels in the market. Earlier this month, the excise (enforcement) wing seized a large quantity of the so called ‘foreign liquor’ valued at Rs 75 lakh following the arrest of one person.
The samples collected from the seized consignment have been sent to the forensic science laboratory for analysis. “Analysis is being done to ascertain whether it is genuine or spurious liquor. There were instances in the past when spurious liquor was packed in branded liquor bottles and sold in the market,” said an official of the prohibition and excise department.
Recently, Mr Akun Sabharwal, director, excise enforcement, had cautioned the public against buying liquor through illegal outlets or unknown persons as it could be spurious. People buy foreign liquor from unknown or illegal sellers because it is cheaper than that sold at regulated outlets.
Liquor sold at these illegal outlets known as ‘belt shops’ may also be dangerous as there is no check on the quality.
“At regulated liquor outlets, regular checks are conducted by the teams of prohibition and excise department. It is not so at belt shops or persons selling liquor illegally. It can be harmful,” cautions D. Venkateshwar Rao of the state wine dealers’ association.
There are several belt shops running in the city which cater to the needs of customers after licensed shops have closed. In some areas in the west zone and south zone, belt shops offer customers sitting space too, sources said.
City police commissioner, V.V. Srinivas Rao says the police are collecting information about persons involved in the illegal liquor business. “Instructions have been issued to officials to keep a watch on them. Suitable action will be initiated against such persons or belt shops,” he warned....