Surat, India – September 19, 2017
Police in Surat were directed to a scrap yard by an anonymous tip that was received concerning the production of spurious liquor. At the scrap yard the police raiding party found two suspects, Sushant and Yogesh both residents of Pasadena. Police believe that these two were only workers and they have yet to apprehend the mastermind of the operation. Along with the two suspects police found equipment, supplies, and chemicals used in the production of fake alcohol.
The equipment recovered by police at the scene included a bottle refilling machine and two mini capping machines. Among the supplies found were counterfeit labels, stickers, barcode labels, and tax stamps. The stickers and labels were for the whiskey brands Blue Whiskey and Royal Stag. Also recovered were 144 bottles of the fake whiskey packaged and ready for distribution. Twelve barrels containing methanol alcohol, and unidentified chemicals were also recovered at the scene.
Unlike other operations, this group did not use counterfeit liquor bottles. This little whiskey operation used recycled bottles. They soaked the old labels off in hot water tubes, replacing them with the counterfeit labels that they purchased.
Another oddity about this fake whiskey operation is that they were targeting the lower priced brands produced in India, rather than the more expensive imported brands of whiskey. As the interrogations and investigations are incomplete no estimate on the volume of whiskey or value of the operation was readily available. The length of the operation or extent of their distribution network is also unknown. What is known is that this fake whiskey operation hidden in a junk yard was stopped due to an anonymous tip by someone concerned about the ill effects of this fake whiskey.
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