Delhi smugglers exploit dry lockdown: Illicit booze biz booms on high demand
On May 1, the Delhi Police arrested two men in Dwarka for smuggling hundreds of bottles of liquor in a vehicle laden with cucumber. On April 16, two men were caught transporting 25 boxes of illicit liquor in an ambulance in Chhawla. On April 5, a man was held near South Avenue Road with liquor bottles hidden inside milk containers. All these men had UP and Haryana connections.
The Delhi government is set to open at least 400 standalone liquor shops in non-hotspot areas on Monday when the third phase of the nationwide lockdown begins for two more weeks.
But the challenge also remains to crack down against inter-state smugglers and city bootleggers spreading their network and exploiting demands that have been spiralling amid Covid-19 curbs.
On Saturday, Delhi’s Excise Department asked four government agencies to immediately submit a list of liquor shops which conform to the Union Home Ministry’s relaxation criteria for the next phase of the lockdown allowing some non-essential standalone outlets to open.
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