80 boxes of smuggled wine found in modified tempo

Nov 02, 2018, 07:50 IST | Samiullah Khan

The wine bottles seized at Talasari are tagged 'Royal Special Whisky', a bottle of which costs R35 in Daman, and are sold at R135 per bottle in Maharashtra. The police are tracing the people involved in this racket

80 boxes of smuggled wine found in modified tempo
Wine worth Rs 5 lakh was seized from the tempo. Pic/Hanif Patel

Officals of the State Excise Department on Thursday curbed a smuggling attempt as they caught an Eicher tempo near the Talasari check post carrying 80 boxes of wine from Daman. Meant for sale in Maharashtra, the wine worth more than R5 lakh, was found inside a secret cabin built in the tempo. According to sources, the tempo was modified in a way that 25 per cent of its area behind the driver's seat was built into a five-foot-deep cabin. It had a door sized 2x2 feet with no handles.

On receiving a tip-off, the Maharashtra Excise team from Palghar district led by inspector Subhash Jadhav, detained this tempo near the Talasari check post. He told mid-day that the police had crucial information regarding smuggling of wine, and had hence laid a trap for the last four days. "The tempo was sighted on Thursday, and we initially only found 130 empty vegetable crates," excise inspector Jadhav said, adding, "The driver, too, denied carrying any wine. I then measured the length of the tempo externally and internally and found the five-feet cabin." The tempo has been seized and the driver identified as Mukesh Thorat, a resident of Dhule district, is under arrest.

Recently, a nexus that enabled duplication of beer brands, too, was busted by the same team. During inquiry, it was found that beer is smuggled from Daman and Silvasa, where liquor is cheaper than in Maharashtra, and the beer labels are changed in Ulhasnagar, to be sold across Maharashtra. The wine bottles seized at Talasari are tagged 'Royal Special Whisky', a bottle of which costs R35 in Daman, and are sold at R135 per bottle in Maharashtra. The police are tracing the people involved in this racket.

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