Truck carrying over 950 cartons of illicit liquor seized amid lockdownUpdated: Apr 27, 2020 23:42 IST
The police on Sunday confiscated a truck carrying 959 cartons of illicit liquor near Sohna-Damdama border area. The truck was on its way to the city to smuggle the liquor amid the ongoing lockdown, the police said, adding that two persons standing next to the truck noticed the police vehicle and managed to escape on foot.
The incident was reported around 6pm when the police received a tip-off that two bootleggers were allegedly smuggling liquor in village Khaika, Sohna, officials said. A team of policemen from City Sohna police station rushed to the village and spotted a truck parked on an isolated stretch of the road.
Preet Pal Sangwan, assistant commissioner of police (ACP), said that the two people managed to escape after noticing the police vehicle.
“The truck was covered with tarpaulin and the cartons of liquor had been covered with at least 12 sacks of onions to evade suspicion. Preliminary probe suggests that the truck was headed to the city to supply liquor to bootleggers and consumers. The details of the supply chain and nexus would be known once the suspects are arrested,” said Sangwan, adding that the bootleggers had been struggling to move liquor in the city due to the lockdown imposed to contain the Covid-19 spread.
He said that the seizure, which included 703 cartons of countrymade liquor and 256 cartons of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL), was the single highest seizure from one location since the lockdown was imposed in the city, and subsequently, liquor vends across the state were shut down.
Excise officials had earlier said that some bootleggers had also cheated several people by offering to sell liquor online during the lockdown.
A police official privy to the investigation, requesting anonymity, said that the truck’s registration number was of Chhattisgarh and the police had reached out to regional transport authority officials to trace its owner. “It is not certain if the truck had been stolen. It is possible that it managed to infiltrate from a neighbouring state in the garb of transporting essential items as its periphery of boot space was covered with onions,” said the police official.
A case was registered against the suspects under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Excise Act at Sohna City police station on Sunday, said the police.
In another incident, the crime branch of Sector 39 arrested a man, identified by first name as Bijender, from Ghata village in Sector 56 for allegedly smuggling six cartons of illicit liquor on Sunday night. On Saturday, the police had arrested one Rajesh from Pataudi for allegedly transporting 222 liquor bottles, including 144 bottles of countrymade liquor.