Three men who allegedly stole costly brands of foreign liquor from a five-star hotel and parked them in another were caught in the act on Friday.
The men, all cleanliness and boiler maintenance workers, were arrested after being spotted smuggling more than five dozen bottles of some of the costliest spirits into Chanakyapuri's Ashoka Hotel from the neighbouring Samrat Hotel on Friday night.
"The three of them had six bags that were full of drinks ranging from three dozen 750ml bottles of Absolut Vodka to two dozen bottles of both champagne and vintage wine," said a senior police officer.
The accused, identified as Praveen Kumar, Jitender Kumar and Rajesh Kumar, were nabbed soon after being caught tip-toeing their way into the hotel through a connecting entry on a CCTV camera around 8.30pm.
The police said they were informed of the incident by the hotel's staff who, by the time policemen had reached the spot, had already extracted a confession from the men they had caught.
"They were confronted with the CCTV footage that clearly showed them carrying two bags each on their shoulder and quietly making their way to the hotel's boiler room," the officer said.
Among the seizure, police said, are 43 bottles of Absolut Vodka, 12 bottles of Moet and Chandon Champagne and 12 whole bottles of DOM Pringon wine.
"They apparently wanted to sell them in the open market as they were aware of the price tag that each bottle carries. We are questioning them about their involvement in similar 'operations' earlier," the officer said. A case has been registered.