If liquor is not available due to the closure of liquor contracts during the lockdown, traders are breaking the law at will. Under the guise of selling essential commodities, they are using milk cans to camouflage the alcohol they contain. One such case has come to light in Mathura. Police have arrested and penalised the milk seller.
A team of Uttar Pradesh Police, while their colleagues were patrolling all neighbourhoods to ensure people stay indoors and loiterers sent back home, had put up a barricade near the Pepsi factory on the highway. At around 11:50 PM, Inspector in-charge Ravi Tyagi, his colleague Rinku Kumar, along with the police force, stopped a ‘milkman’ riding a bike coming from Delhi.
Seeing the police, the ‘milkman’ tried to flee. The cops apprehended him and searched his belongings. He was arrested and 238 quarter bottles of liquor were seized from his milk cans. The man said during his interrogation his name was Chandrapal. He is a resident of Kamai, Barsana.
Police arrested the youth under the charges of the Excise Act and fraud.
Elsewhere, Veera, a resident of Baldev, Amirpur, was arrested during another round of checking at a police station. Police recovered 22 quarter bottles of liquor from him and penalised him too.
Cyber crooks set up traps for liquor addicts
Those who drink regularly have nearly or already finished all alcohol they had stocked up even as the lockdown will take at least 10 more days to be over. This is making many a booze lover go restless in the evening, as killing time sitting idle at home is no mean a challenge.
Sensing this suppressed demand in the market, cyber crooks have laid traps to cash in on the situation. Even when a consumer is cheated, he does not dare approach the police, thus giving the crooks a field day.
The two milkmen in disguise above were both delivering liquor that had been booked online. Unlike a website that acts as a tool of a genuine business, no website has been launched for booking liquor during the lockdown. Rather, personal social media accounts are being used to peddle products not available in stores these days. One such account claimed the person would deliver liquor anywhere in Agra on receiving a call at 98178 76949.
‘If cheated, you wouldn’t call the police, they know’
Many people in Agra dialled this number. The caller said he would ensure the delivery of any brand at home. He claimed he had a shop in the Loha Mandi area of Agra, but he needed to be paid partly via PayTM first. The customer could pay the balance when the bottle is — or bottles are — delivered home.
A potential customer told Sirf News he had asked the trader how much a carton of Blender’s Pride would cost. The person who spoke over the phone did not know the price. After mumbling and hanging up, he called back to say a carton would cost Rs 5,000. “At an MRP of Rs 780 for a 750 ml bottle, that was too low a price for 12 bottles, which should legitimately cost me Rs 9,360,” the person told our reporter over the phone.
We called the number that was advertised on Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp and then deleted. The fishy liquor seller said, “I have too much stock. I need to clear it.”
According to the police, this is a trap of cyber crooks. “They want to trap more and more people,” a cop said, adding, “They know you will not reach us for redress if cheated. If this guy promises to deliver Blender’s Pride but hands you over Officer’s Choice or nothing at all, you will end up cursing yourself and doing nothing else till the time the lockdown continues.”