Tanker carrying spirit used to make alcohol seized; driver illegally siphoning the spirit

PUNE A tanker carrying spirit used for making alcohol has been seized by the State Excise Department of Maharashtra on Wednesday morning.

The seizure is worth Rs 36,30,160, according to excise department officials.

The seizure was made at a time when the model code of conduct is in place for the gram panchayat elections, upcoming in the parts of the state.

The arrested driver of the tanker has been identified as Pramodkumar Shamsundar Kushwaha (38), a resident of Uttar Pradesh, according to Prasad Surve, division deputy commissioner, Excise Department.

He was intercepted in Kolewadi village, located along the Mumbai-Bengaluru highway stretch in Pune, after department officials sent a decoy customer to him.

“The truck was carrying the 25,000 litres in spirit, used to make products like alcohol, legally. However, he was found illegally withdrawing the spirit from the tanker into separate barrels. We arrested him based on a tip and we have been granted his police custody until January 12,” said Surve.

The excise department officials caught him while he was transferring the spirit from the tanker to a barrel, 200 litres in capacity. The officials found three barrels, 220 litres in capacity each; five barrels each with a capacity of 200 litres; a 25-foot long plastic pipe, and travel and transport documents for the spirit.

“The vehicle was heading from a factory in Vita, Sangli to Palghar. That transport was legal,” said Santosh Zagade, Superintendent of Police, Pune, Excise Department.

The excise department officials have seized the phone of the driver.

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