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Liquor Love: People Willing to Pay Anything for Alcohol in Lockdown - Delhi Police

CC0 / / Spirits bottles in a shopping cart
Spirits bottles in a shopping cart - Sputnik International
New Delhi (Sputnik): India is currently under the second phase of a nationwide lockdown that is scheduled to continue until 3 May. Since the curbs have brought the country to a standstill, with only essential services functioning, many people are having a tough time due to the closure of liquor shops.

From smuggling alcohol in milk containers to getting it in vegetable trucks to even arranging it through garbage vans, the peddlers are evolving novel and strange ways to sneak alcohol into India’s national capital, a Delhi Police official said.

“With the ban on the sale of alcohol, the bootleggers across the city have found ways to smuggle it through various ways, especially using the essential services to sneak it in. Earlier, at the entrance points of the states, cops were letting go people by checking their lockdown passes. But with such cases coming to light, police personnel have become more alert", a senior police official said.

During this ongoing lockdown, the Delhi Police have arrested as many as 10 bootleggers and managed to seize 5,465 quarts of liquor, most of it from the states of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana.

The questioning of bootleggers has revealed that most are middlemen and supply these goods to existing bootleggers in the capital city, who are making three times more than normal by selling it on the black market.

“For such things, people find a way to purchase it. Generally, their permanent customers make an advance booking for alcohol after which they import it through the middlemen. The customers are ready to pay any amount for the same, thus providing bootleggers with huge profits", the officer revealed.

Recently, after arresting two peddlers, the cops were shocked upon learning they had seized liquor manufactured in the state of Chhattisgarh around 1,200 kms from Delhi.

“Interestingly, since this case came to light, special teams are working to find the entire nexus behind the smuggling and selling of liquor. The arrested accused are being interrogated to find out their accomplice. Our teams are also keeping an eye on bar owners and godown holders to check if they are selling their stock in black", the officer said.

The officials also urged the people to stay indoors and not violate the lockdown rules. They want people to view health as a priority during this pandemic.

“We are on the streets 24x7 to help the country to come out of this difficult time. It is disheartening to see people not caring about themselves and their families and still violating the rules by buying alcohol in black during the lockdown. It can become a hub for spreading of the virus as we do not know from whom we are buying and from where it is being smuggled", said the officer.

As per the latest guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), state authorities across the country have been asked to enforce a strict ban on the sale of liquor, tobacco, or tobacco-based products (Gutka).  

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