Beware of cheap 'taste-alikes' packaged as branded high-end liquor this New Year's; three bootleggers arrested yesterday
YOU can't be too careful with the alcohol you purchase or are served tonight.
For, the possibility of cheap 'taste-alikes' being packaged and sold in bottles of high-end brands this New Year's has been thrown up again with the arrest of three bootleggers yesterday.
They possessed more than 300 such bottles and were in the process of packaging more when they were busted.
Excise department arrested three bootleggers (above and left) from a house at Suyog building at CST yesterday
Acting on a tip-off, the state excise department swooped down on a house at Suyog building at CST yesterday and arrested three workers Mohammedu00a0 Ibrahim, Anish Gobi and Rajan Raj Gopal.
Sustained interrogation of the arrested trio revealed that the mastermind, Chandran, an old player in the bootlegging business, took advantage of empty and undamaged bottles of foreign-made liquor with the labels intact and used them to run the illegal racket.
The trio from Kerala used to fill up bottles of high-end brands with cheap alcohol bought from Daman and Diu and planned on selling them for New Year parties today.
Shivaji Patil, superintendent, Excise Department, who busted the racket said, "We got an anonymous call informing us that illicit liquor was being packaged on the third floor of a Mhada building near CST.
Our squad rushed to the spot and recovered about 300 bottles of packaged illegal liquor and many stacks of empty branded liquor bottles.
The accused have confessed that they were planning to sell these bottles on New Year's Eve." Patil revealed that these packaged bottles, which cost the bootleggers Rs 100 to make, could be sold for as much as Rs 5,000 per bottle.
"The owner of the house is absconding and we are also looking for the racket's mastermind.
We request citizens to purchase liquor from authorised dealers only and not be taken in by fake dealers who might lure them by selling packaged bottles a few hundred rupees cheaper," he added.
The trio has been booked under the Bombay Prohibition Act, 1914.
"We have arrested them on charges of illegally importing illicit liquor and misusing the place among others," said Patil.
MiD DAY had reported (Pay for Scotch drink desi daru, MiD DAY, October 16) how bar owners pass off cheap liquor for a branded one once they see a customer getting drunk. This is another thing you need to be careful of.
Consider this: You walk in a bar, and order a shot of Black Label. The barman will size you up to see if you have had a few drinks before you came in. If you have, you'll be handed a shot of a pre-mix of Indian-made liquor.
On the other hand, if it's the first drink you are having, your first peg will actually be what you asked for.
After the third or fourth drink, the contraband will start flowing in, and in all probability, you'll never be able to determine the difference.
How can you avoid this? Always ask for a sealed bottle, preferably a quarter, and ask the waiter to mix your drink in front of you.
Liquor and Bambaiyya slang have an age-old association. These range from Narangi (country brew with a citric flavour) to pavva (a quarter bottle or 250ml packets of country liquor). Khamba is a full bottle of alcohol ufffd not necessarily country made. Long drinking sessions in country bars are usually followed by a locha/lafda (fight) or attempts to try and flirt with a barfi (a good-looking girl).