Liquor store owners making a killing during lockdown

Liquor store owners making a killing during lockdown
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Andhra Pradesh police presenting the seized liquor bottles on Monday
Highlights

Khammam/Kothagudem: Exploiting the lockdown situation and the liquor addicts in the district, liquor store owners are selling liquor at exorbitant...

Khammam/Kothagudem: Exploiting the lockdown situation and the liquor addicts in the district, liquor store owners are selling liquor at exorbitant rates and also smuggling alcohol to other States.

Locals alleged that liquor shop owners are making huge profits by selling bottles at a rate three times more than the MRP. They are selling a full bottle worth Rs 500 for Rs 2,000 and Rs 1,000 full bottle for Rs 2,500 to Rs 3,000. Interesting thing is that no one is going back and purchasing.

For example, Rs 500 bottle is being sold at Rs 2,500. Liquor syndicate is also selling liquor through belt shops, which were set up in hundreds in agency areas, despite the lockdown.

Political party leaders alleged that the excise department, which is supposed to prevent the transport and selling of liquor, has remained as silent spectators as liquor syndicate is paying huge bribes to them.

In Khammam district, the situation is different. Many liquor shop owners are reportedly supplying liquor bottles to the customers' doorsteps in main towns like Khammam, Bhadrachalam, Sattupally, Aswaraopet, Dammapet, Kothagudem, Palvoncha and Manugur but for a very high price.

Though bars and restaurants were closed in both Khammam and Bhadradri-kothagudem districts due to lockdown, it seems no one is suffering except poor for liquor.

According to sources, before Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced about lockdown, all liquor shops owners have shifted alcohol to secrete places and also to belt shops. Later they started selling liquor to very regular customers and later selling openly.

The Task Force police conducted raids and seized liquor worth lakhs of rupees in the last few days and arrested a few persons in Khammam district.

When contacted, Kothagudem Excise Superintendent Narasimha Reddy said that they are conducting search on reliable information and also taking all steps to curb illegal liquor sales.

On Monday, Andhra Pradesh police have seized liquor bottles worth Rs 40,000 and a car from two persons, who belongs to Bhadrachalam town. According to Yetapaka Sub-Inspector Chinna Babu, the two persons - A Sita Ramulu and K Nagaraju – were transporting liquor bottles to Andhra Pradesh for selling. The duo was arrested and a case was filed against them.

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