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ED illicit liquor probe hits excise dept bump

Aman Sood

Press Reporter News Service

Patiala, July 28

After the Punjab Police, it’s the state Excise and Taxation Division that has refused to share with the Enforcement Directorate any particulars in regards to the alleged multi-crore illicit liquor manufacturing rip-off that was busted lately.

Enforcement Directorate (ED) officers are learnt to have written to the excise authorities on June 15, looking for particulars of all raids and arrests associated to the rip-off over the previous two years. An alleged political-excise nexus is claimed to be behind the illegal observe that precipitated heavy losses to the exchequer.

A Venu Prasad, Principal Secretary, Excise and Taxation, stated he was but to obtain the ED letter and would verify with the officers involved in his division. “We are going to look into the matter and reply as per guidelines,” he stated.

Previous to this, the ED authorities had despatched letters to the Patiala Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) on June 6 and once more on June 12, to the Mohali SSP on June 17 and the Ludhiana (rural) police on June 18, stated sources. The letters sought data on “FIRs, probe stories, property particulars of accused and interrogation stories of these arrested in associated instances”.

Nothing has been shared up to now by the three police districts, stated an ED official.

Curiously, ED Deputy Director Niranjan Singh himself met senior police officers to hunt information pertaining to the seizure of illicit liquor and manufacturing items, however to no avail. “I’ve heard nothing from the 2 departments. We want requisite data to nail the culprits and probe the monetary angle,” Niranjan Singh instructed The Press Reporter.

12 FIRs below lens

The ED is conducting a probe below the Prevention of Cash Laundering Act. It’s wanting into no less than 12 FIRs registered at numerous police stations in Patiala, Mohali and Ludhiana.

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