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Local liquor in foreign bottles

Next time somebody offers you a bottle of scotch at a cheaper price, think twice. Chances are you might end up getting spurious liquor in fancy imported bottles. Delhi government’s excise department busted a gang on Sunday for packaging Indian liquor in empty bottles of foreign liquor.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON NOV 28, 2010 11:42 PM IST

Next time somebody offers you a bottle of scotch at a cheaper price, think twice. Chances are you might end up getting spurious liquor in fancy imported bottles. Delhi government’s excise department busted a gang on Sunday for packaging Indian liquor in empty bottles of foreign liquor.

Delhi excise minister Ashok Kumar Walia said a large number of empty bottles and labels of popular brands like Johnnie Walker, Black Label, Red Label, Gold Label, Glenfiddich, Chivas Regal, Absolut Vodka, and Champaign and Brandy were seized in the raid.

“After packaging Indian liquor in imported bottles the gang used to sell liquor at cheaper rates to people,” Walia said. Senior excise officials said the illegal bottling unit was located at a residential premise in Pitampura area in Delhi.

“We raided the unit on specific inputs and seized large amount of counterfeit foreign liquor, chemicals, empty foreign liquor bottles, caps, packaging material, stickers and dye for counterfeiting foreign liquor,” the official said.

“The original liquor bottles sold at authorised shops have holograms. Our teams also keep a close eye on what is being sold at private liquor stores,”said Walia. “We are soon going to introduce bar coding on liquor bottles which will make selling of counterfeit liquor next to impossible,” the minister added.

In a similar case, a few days ago, about 20,000 caps of various brands of foreign liquor were seized from another such unit located in Shastri Nagar, Sarai Rohilla area of North Delhi.

Recently, the excise department intercepted a Toyota Innova Car, which was transporting illegal rare foreign scotch whisky and precious wines near Chanakyapuri area of New Delhi.

Goods worth several lakhs were being transported without any valid transport permit and payments of excise duty, officials said.

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