Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Following the seizure of duplicate oil, sauce, and cement, a huge quantity of duplicate foreign liquor was also seized by the Sambalpur Excise Department at Ranibandha area in the district on Friday. One person has been arrested in this connection. The accused has been identified as Suraj Behera.

Acting on a tip-off from reliable sources that illegal foreign liquor manufacturing is underway in the area, a special team of Excise raided some factories at Ranibandha area. During the raid, several bottles of duplicate foreign liquor, tools and other articles used in packaging were also seized from the spot.

As per sources, the accused was preparing the duplicate or adulterated liquor by mixing up different spirits and other materials and packing them in bottles with labels of some imported foreign brands.

However, the accused feigned his ignorance about the manufacturing of fake foreign liquor.

“I have no knowledge about the manufacturing of fake foreign liquor. A person was living in the house on rent. He might have stocked the liquor bottles here,” said accused Behera.

However, as per Excise Deputy Comissioner Rajendra Bhotra, a racket is behind the manufacturing of the fake foreign liquor.

“Jasbir Singh Kohli from Kolkata is the kingpin behind the racket. He was supplying spirit and other materials to the accused. The accused was manufacturing duplicate foreign liquor by mixing up those spirits and supplying the fake products in the local area,” said Bhotra.

“They were selling the duplicate foreign liquor bottles at lesser prices. Gullible customers, who don’t have knowledge about liquor, were buying fake products. There are chances of serious health consequences and mishaps by consuming duplicate liquor. Luckily, we seized the illegal manufacturing unit immediately. We will continue our raids in the coming days,” Bhotra added.

(Reported by Sanjay Jena)