Police have busted a 12-member gang allegedly involved in smuggling liquor from Haryana and selling it in Uttar Pradesh after adulterating the drink and changing the wrappers and barcodes for making huge profits due to the price difference, officials said on Wednesday. The interstate gang, which was causing revenue losses to the tune of hundreds of crores to the Uttar Pradesh government, was busted by a team of police in Muzaffarnagar and the excise department, they said.
The gang was involved in printing fake wrappers, bottle caps and QR barcodes, the officials said. The police have recovered 30 lakh bottle caps, 25 lakh wrappers, five lakh QR (Quick Response) - barcodes worth more than Rs 1 crore apart from three cars and illicit liquor, they said. Due to pricing difference, liquor from Haryana was smuggled, its wrappers and bar codes changed and sold off as Uttar Pradesh liquor, they said. They would also mix the liquor with other substances and water to dilute it, making it dangerous for consumption, the officials said.
The gang operated in Muzaffarnagar, Hapur, Saharanpur, Meerut, Amroha, Bijnor, Kanpur, Aligarh, Sultanpur, Ghazipur, Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh, the officials said. It was also active in Delhi, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Punjab, West Bengal and Maharashtra, they said.
The labels and other materials of Mansoorpur, Pilakhni, Saharanpur, Simbhavali, Hapur, Aligarh, Kashipur distilleries were being faked, they said. The officials suspect there could be many other gangs active in other states.