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Huge profit margin, thriving racket

With duplicate concentrates for cola drinks available at dirt-cheap prices and manufactured at a fraction of the price of the original product, the profits are huge in the spurious cola business in the Capital. Karan Choudhury reports.

delhi Updated: Jul 03, 2010 00:02 IST
Karan Choudhury

It was a booming business of selling spurious cola, thanks to the scorching heat in the Capital.

On any given day for the last six months, the owners of the illegal soft drink bottling plant in Northeast Delhi made anywhere between Rs 5,000 and Rs 7,000 just in profits.

With duplicate concentrates for the cola drinks available at dirt-cheap prices and manufactured at a fraction of the price of the original product, the profits were huge.

The products

The police said the accused bought most things required for making different cola drinks — Chemicals, citric acid, bottles, etc. — locally.

All the accused in the case have not been identified and investigations and the raids are on to catch suppliers as well as vendors, the police said.

Initial police investigations have revealed that colours and concentrates were bought from places like Chandni Chowk. Local shopkeepers supplied bottles, which were also sold as scrap. The same sources also provided them with crates.

The process

The police said bottling of the spurious cola was mostly carried out in the night and by morning they were sent to different suppliers.

“As per our preliminary investigation, water was passed through carbon dioxide gas and then mixed in the concentrate, which was filled in the bottle. Then with a help of a sophisticated bottle crown sealing machine it was capped and then stocked in crates,” said a senior police officer on the condition of anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to media.

The economics

The police said not more than 75 paise to Rs 1.25 were spent per bottle. They then sold every crate of their product for between Rs 20 and Rs 30. Each crate has around 24 bottles. On an average the accused sold around 300-400 crates per day.