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Gang Sells Foreign Booze On Facebook And Orkut

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The Delhi Police have busted a racket involving sale of smuggled foreign liquor on social networking sites at cheap rates.

Three persons were arrested in this connection on Wednesday. Police and excise department officials said the accused created an exclusive group called Whiskey On Wheels on at least three networking sites, Facebook, Orkut and Naymz. Entry to these online shops was restricted to registered members.

Those arrested included south Delhi residents Manoj Gupta and Ravinder Singh, who acted as delivery men, and Vincent Nathan, who arranged clients.

“The mastermind, Arjun Dhull, who lives at a farmhouse in Sainik Farms, is absconding,” said a police officer.

“At least 1,400 members had joined this community on Facebook alone. We are not sure if all of them were customers,” an official of the Excise Intelligence Bureau said.

Liquor was sold at prices up to 40 per cent less than market rates since the sellers evaded paying excise duty and value added tax (VAT). “We charge up to 20 per cent excise duty on imported liquor and another 20 per cent as VAT. They smuggled the liquor into the city without our knowledge and saved this money,” an excise official said.

Around 294 bottles of different brands, costing up to Rs 12 lakh, were seized from the accused. These included Johny Walker Black Label, Gold Label, Red Label, Blue Label, Belvedere Vodka, Baileys Cream, Moet & Barton Champagne, Jack Daniel Scotch and Dragon Seal wine.

The racket was busted when police stopped three cars in which the bottles were being carried for sale in south Delhi.

“The drivers couldn’t show any supporting document authorising them to possess such a huge quantity,” said an officer.

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Saturday, September 23, 12:25 am

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