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'Rat'ted out!: Rodents help excise officials detect liquor that reached Kochi via Speed Post

After the rats ate up some portions of the packet, the India Post officers detected the mischief. The incident was reported on Tuesday when India Post officials alerted the Excise department. 

Published: 16th June 2021 11:11 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th June 2021 11:11 AM   |  A+A-

Kochi liquor seizure

The liquor package that was eaten by rats at the India Post office in Kochi (Photo | Express)

By Express News Service

KOCHI: As liquor shops are closed due to the lockdown in Kerala, an attempt was made to smuggle bottles of whiskey from Bengaluru via Speed Post, only to be foiled by the rats at the office of India Post in Kochi.

After the rats ate up some portions of the packet, the India Post officers detected the mischief. The incident was reported on Tuesday when India Post officials alerted the Excise department. 

Excise Deputy Commissioner T A Ashok Kumar said it was a rare incident and that it was detected only because a packet of mixture (snacks) was also sent along with three bottles of whiskey in the parcel leading rats to make a hole in it.  "It is the first time such an incident is reported in Kerala when Speed Post is used for smuggling liquor.  Usually, parcels of courier service are used for smuggling narcotic substances. The Speed Post is not used for the purpose due to the higher risk of getting detected. If the rats had not eaten up the cover, the parcel would have delivered undetected. After finding a liquor bottle, the postal officials informed us and we have seized the contraband," he said.

According to the Excise officer, the sender of the parcel has been identified and he was admitted to the crime. "We have contacted the sender in Bengaluru who has accepted the crime. We have also identified the receiver who is a Kochi native. We have to verify whether the liquor was sent for consumption for which the statement of the receiver has to be recorded. We are taking this precautionary measure as there have been cases of sending contraband for purposefully trapping persons in Excise cases for taking revenge," he said. 

Ashok Kumar said that an Abkari case has been registered and the arrest of both sender and receiver will be made after the investigation. "We have registered a case charging section 58 of Abkari Act which is a non-bailable offence. Liquor made in other states are not permitted in Kerala as per the Abkari Act and the case will be treated in line with brewing and selling arrack here. The punishment for the offence is 10 years of imprisonment and Rs one lakh fine," he said.



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