Water bottling plant premixing colourless alcohol for sale in Bihar busted in Bengal | cities | Hindustan Times
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Water bottling plant premixing colourless alcohol for sale in Bihar busted in Bengal

The bottles, all of 1 litre capacity, appear like normal packaged drinking water, but contain premixed vodka, gin and white rum.

cities Updated: Aug 09, 2017 22:57 IST
Sumanta Ray Chaudhuri
After mixing, the bottles were sealed like original ones, which gave them the look of a regular packaged drinking water. Since vodka, gin and white rum are colourless drinks, it is impossible to identify them from normal bottled water, said a state excise department officer.
After mixing, the bottles were sealed like original ones, which gave them the look of a regular packaged drinking water. Since vodka, gin and white rum are colourless drinks, it is impossible to identify them from normal bottled water, said a state excise department officer.(Representational Photo)

Since the Nitish Kumar government declared Bihar a dry state, there has been some efforts in smuggling alcohol into the state, but this one must rank high in innovativeness. Bengal’s Enforcement Branch (EB) officers have unearthed in Howrah a packaged drinking water unit that used to bottle premixed colourless alcohol for consumption in Bihar.

The bottles, all of 1 litre capacity, appear like normal packaged drinking water, but contain premixed vodka, gin and white rum.

Though only 200 bottles were seized in the raid on August 7, the EB officers suspect that consignments were being sent to Bihar for quite some time.

The officials raided the unit suspecting it to be a fake packaged water manufacturing unit, and were surprised to find that the unit was actually bottling premixed alcohol for consumption in the dry neighbouring state. It was a small warehouse in the dingy lanes of Golabari in Howrah town.

The Bihar government’s prohibition is a strict one with anybody violating it liable to attract non-bailable provisions.

The suspicion of one of the officers was raised when he located the letters “V”, “J” and “WR” in very small print at the bottom of the bottles. “When he uncorked one and had a sip, the doubt was confirmed,” said an excise department officer.

“After mixing, the bottles were sealed like original ones, which gave them the look of a regular packaged drinking water. Since vodka, gin and white rum are colourless drinks, it is impossible to identify them from normal bottled water,” said a state excise department officer.

Three workers of unit were nabbed, but the owner is on the run.

The workers have told the officers that the ready-to-drink alcohol bottles were meant for Bihar. 

Each 1 litre bottle contained 375 ml gin, vodka or white rum with 625 ml potable water. 

“Each bottle was priced at three times of the cost of 375 ml liquor, one little of mineral water and the associated costs like transportation cost,” the state excise department official said.