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Over 250 liquor bottles allegedly smuggled on Air India flight seized outside Leh airport

Eight cartons containing liquor and beer were seized by excise officials, who said they are sold to private hotels in Ladakh at higher prices due to shortage in the Union Territory.

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Leh: Excise officers have seized over 250 bottles of liquor that were allegedly smuggled into Leh from Delhi on an Air India charter flight and arrested three people, including a contractual employee of the national carrier, officials said on Wednesday.

Acting on inputs, the seizure was made on Tuesday from two cars outside the airport, they said.

“There were eight cartons carrying around 170 bottles of liquor and about 100 beer bottles. The cartons had Air India charter flight’s tag on them,” an official said.

A contractual employee of Air India and two more people have been arrested in connection with the case, the officials said, adding that the cars have also been seized.

The excise officials have sought information from senior Air India staff at Leh about the attempted smuggling, they said.

They have also sought details from Air India about the passengers on the basis of the luggage tags, the officials said.

Describing the modus operandi, they said that liquor bottles are sold to private hotels in Ladakh at higher prices as there is a shortage in the Union Territory.

This is not the first time that such a case has come to light. A few days back, excise officials had seized three cartons of liquor from outside the airport here.

The liquor had come on another Air India charter flight, they said.

A total of six people, including employees of a restaurant, have been arrested in these two cases, they said.

Also read: Air India moves Delhi HC challenging order quashing decision to terminate pilots


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