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Noida logistics firm owner arrested for selling liquor to cartels in UP, Bihar

Police arrested seven persons, including the director of a Noida-based logistics company, for allegedly pilfering and supplying liquor to cartels in UP and Bihar, a dry state. The suspects allegedly pilfered the liquor while transporting it from distilleries to bottling units across the country.

noida Updated: Feb 28, 2019 04:33 IST
Vaibhav Jha
Vaibhav Jha
Hindustan Times, Noida
Over 25,000 litres of distilled alcohol was seized from the man’s godown in Badalpur, Greater Noida.
Over 25,000 litres of distilled alcohol was seized from the man’s godown in Badalpur, Greater Noida.
         

Police arrested seven persons, including the director of a Noida-based logistics company, for allegedly pilfering and supplying liquor to cartels in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, a dry state.

The suspects allegedly pilfered the liquor while transporting it from distilleries to bottling units across the country.

Police said the suspects used to run three different registered companies — Sonia Travels, Sonia Logistics and Sonia Spirits — from their Sector 63, Noida, office. While transporting ‘extra neutral alcohol’ (ENA) from distilleries to bottling units, they used to steal a portion of the consignment and sell it to different cartels.

ENA is distilled alcohol without any impurities and is used in cosmetics, perfumes as well as for the production of alcoholic beverages such as whisky, vodka, gin, and alcoholic fruit beverages and aperitifs.

Police said ENA has a 96% concentration which makes it easier for bootleggers to make whiskey from it. The company owner had a godown in Badalpur of Greater Noida which was searched by police on February 24 evening and over 25,000 litres of ETA was seized and 10 persons arrested. A total of 17 persons have been arrested in this case so far.

“After the search at the Badalpur godown, we investigated and found that a Noida-based company was behind the activity. We arrested all seven suspects early Wednesday from Bharat Dharmkanta in Badalpur,” Vaibhav Krishna, senior superintendent of police, Gautam Budh Nagar, said.

The main suspect has been identified Shanu Gupta, a resident of Cleo County in Sector 121. He is the owner of all three companies that have been named after his wife Sonia.

The other six suspects have been identified as Anmol Gupta, a resident of Cleo County, Dinesh Sharma of Salehpur village in Etah, Amrish Kumar of Bulandshahr, Vikki Ranjan Singh of Kalyanpuri in Delhi, Amit Yadav, a resident of Khoda in Ghaziabad, and Ramesh Kumar from Kondli in Delhi.

Explaining the modus operandi, police said that the suspects had a legitimate logistics business and were working with various distilleries in Punjab, Haryana and Assam.

“After getting the contract to transport ENA to bottling units across the country, the suspects hired trucks from a third party and then stole a portion of the gallons of ENA they were transporting. To avoid detection, they made up the deficit with water. They would store the ENA in their godown and later sell it to cartels that deal in illegal and spurious liquor,” Krishna said.

“As ENA is highly concentrated, one only needs to add water to dilute the ENA and add a colouring chemical to give it the tint of whiskey. We have booked the suspects under sections 60, 60 A and 63 of the Excise Act and under sections of 420, 467, 468, 471 and 273 of the Indian Penal Code ,” Krishna said.

Police said Gupta was going to launch his own brand of alcohol within a month, using the money he earned through bootlegging. “He had plans to launch various alcohols under the name of Sonia Spirits in the next one month. He had even decided the names of his products — Royal Sonia, Evening Spirits,” Vineet Jaiswal, superintendent of police, rural, said.

First Published: Feb 28, 2019 04:31 IST

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