75,000 ltrs of smuggled spirit used to make hooch seized, six arrested
The Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) arrested six people involved in an interstate racket of smuggling rectified spirit used to make hooch, from Sultanpur districtUpdated: Feb 12, 2019 14:50 IST
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
The Uttar Pradesh Special Task Force (STF) arrested six people involved in an interstate racket of smuggling rectified spirit used to make hooch, from Sultanpur district on Monday.
Three tanker trucks containing over 75,000 litres of rectified spirit were recovered from the gang, which had planned to siphon off the spirit in Sultanpur and nearby districts to make hooch.
The seizure came a day after the recent hooch tragedy reported from Kushinagar and Saharanpur districts of UP. At least 73 people died of complications caused by drinking spurious liquor that contained rectified spirit.
“The gang members were bringing the spirit from Bhatinda district in Punjab. They were intercepted by our team following an intelligence input and are being interrogated,” said SSP STF Abhishek Singh.
Those arrested were identified as Rajesh Jaiswal, Nitin Kumar and Ram Narayan Mishra of Sulatanpur district, Harchandra Singh of Kolkata, Giridhari Yadav of Jharkhand and Bharose Pandit of Motihari, Bihar.
They were nabbed from a road side eatery on the highway that the officials believe was used as a base to distribute the smuggled spirit.
Singh said, “The gang smuggled rectified spirit in UP from Punjab, Haryana and Delhi and sold it to smaller gangs operating mostly in rural pockets.”
An FIR was also lodged in Sultanpur against the accused, who have been charged with relevant sections of the Excise Act.
STF official also seized an SUV and containers used to distribute the spirit. “We are also trying to identify the local gangs involved in the distribution of spirit in rural pockets,” said the SSP. Reportedly, local gangs produce three litres of spurious liquor from a litre of spirit which is sold to gullible people for Rs 80 to 140 per litre.
STF officials are also trying to contact their counterparts in Punjab to ensure action against people involved in sourcing the spirit to smugglers.
“Rectified spirit is used in several industrial processes. The gangs usually steal the spirit from the industrial area to smuggle it to other states,” informed the officer. Meanwhile, the accused were presented in court and sent to prison in judicial custody.
First Published: Feb 12, 2019 14:50 IST