With festive season round the corner, the Patiala police on Saturday claimed to have seized extra neutral alcohol (ENA) worth Rs. 3 crore on Friday evening and arrested two inter-state smugglers. ENA is used in alcohol preparation.
Police claimed to have seized 200 drums of ENA - 10 from Rajpura and 190 from Dera Bassi - 245 drums of sodium hypochlorite and 25 drums of ethanol and Rs. 2,00,000 cash, and impounded a Mahindra pick up jeep and Tata 407 used for transportation.
Divulging details, senior superintendent of police (SSP) HS Mann said with the arrest of two members of a gang, who were involved in black marketing of ENA, police had busted one of the biggest rackets of illegal liquor taking place in Punjab and five other states.
The accused used to supply ENA to alcohol factories in Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi, Himachal Pardesh etc at higher rates, he said.
The arrested persons have been identified by police as Rajesh Kumar, alias, Bobby, of Panchkula and Samarjit Singh of Rajpura.
The SSP further said during questioning the accused told police that they had been supplying ENA for last over 10 years and, apart from them people from Haryana, Delhi and Rajasthan were also indulge in the ENA business.
Further raid were being conducted to nab their third accomplice - Gurdeep Singh Baba of Rajpura, the SSP said.
Mann said the gang members used to take out ENA from tankers carrying it in drums with drivers' consent and without owner's knowledge at Rs. 6,000 per drum and used to sell a drum for Rs. 15,000 to alcohol factories.
After taking out the ENA from the tankers, they used to fill the same quantity of water to level the quantity, he added.
A case under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Excise Act was registered against the accused.