September 08, 2023 07:00 PM

Says, operation serves as a stark reminder that no one involved in this illicit trade would be spared Role of Distillery officials under scanner, FIR under sections section 420, 379, 120 B of IPC and other Sections of Excise Act registered


Punjab Finance, Planning, Excise and Taxation Minister Advocate Harpal Singh Cheema on Friday said that the Excise and Taxation department conducted a significant operation in Amritsar district on the intervening night of September 6th and 7th in response to a series of intelligence reports indicating the illegal manufacturing and sale of Scotch whisky in the region, and arrested key accused Rajveer Singh and his accomplice Shivam along with 10 Boxes of illegally bottled Scotch whiskey. He said that this operation served as a stark reminder that no one involved in this illicit trade would be spared, and all backward and forward linkages are under intense scrutiny.

Disclosing this here, the Excise and Taxation Minister said that the department had been receiving critical information and inputs through its intelligence network regarding the illegal production and sale of Scotch whisky, particularly of one brand, in and around the Amritsar district. “Acting swiftly, the Special Operation Group (SOG) conducted extensive surveillance and reconnaissance of suspected individuals and areas involved in these illegal activities under the direct supervision of Finance Commissioner Taxation Vikas Partap and Excise Commissioner Varun Roojam”, said Harpal Singh Cheema.

Revealing the details, Cheema said that SOG successfully executed a trap operation leading to the arrest of one key accused Rajveer Singh along with 10 Boxes of illegally bottled Scotch whiskey. “The accused was handed over to Amritsar Rural Police and during the subsequent questioning ,he disclosed the involvement of two accomplices Shivam and Jaspal who were responsible for sourcing raw materials required for liquor production from the Khasa distillery and bottling plant situated at Khasa, Amritsar”, he added.

Revealing further, Cheema said that SOG identified the location where illegal liquor was being manufactured following the information provided by the arrested individual, conducted a raid at the Khasa distillery on the same night and arrested another accused Shivam who was an employee of the distillery. He said that on investigation it was found that Shivam played a pivotal role in these illegal activities by assisting in the theft of empty bottles, caps, labels, and the finished blend of Scotch whisky from the plant.

Cheema said that the accused individuals have provided detailed insights into their modus operandi, shedding light on how they managed to steal and manufacture illegal Scotch whisky. “An FIR Under sections 420, 379,120B of IPC and other sections of Excise Act has been registered at the Ghareenda Police Station against the accused persons”, said Cheema while adding that the matter is now under rigorous investigation with authorities determined to uncover all aspects of this illegal operation.

Giving a stern warning to the people involved in such illegal activities, Harpal Singh Cheema said that all aspects of this illegal operation, from its inception to distribution, are being thoroughly scrutinized, and those involved will face the law. Illegal liquor production poses a significant threat to public safety and results in substantial revenue losses for the government, said the Excise and Taxation Minister while adding that the Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann led Punjab Government is steadfast in its commitment to safeguarding government revenue and ensuring the health and safety of the public.

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