Two persons were arrested for smuggling liquor after a Gujarat Railway Police team found 48 boxes with over 2,200 bottles of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) worth over Rs 2.5 lakh in a container on a parcel goods train at Okha railway station in Devbhoomi Dwarka.
According to police, the bottles of ‘Haywards 2000 Strong Premium’ beer were being smuggled from Bandra in Mumbai to Okha in Devbhoomi Dwarka under the guise of supplying “medical goods as essentials”. It was recovered on June 1 evening when a parcel train of Western Railways from Bandra Terminus arrived at Okha railway station and a team of GRP inspected one of the containers.
“When the parcel train arrived, the railway staff started unloading the parcels when one of the boxes of ‘medical goods’ was found open. On checking, the personnel found beer bottles and the entire container was searched. In total 48 boxes with 2,283 bottles of 500 ml beer each, total worth Rs 2.5 lakh, was found. The parcel was ordered by one Mohammad Azgar of Indiranagar in Mumbai for Bharat Patel in Okha. Our team decided to wait for the receiver to arrive at the railway station and by Monday evening, one Aashiq Mohammad arrived in a Bolero SUV to receive the parcel on behalf of Bharat Patel. The railway official refused to hand him over the parcel and then a police team apprehended him,” said a senior police official of Western Railways posted in Ahmedabad.
After the seizure of IMFL and arrest of one accused, an FIR was lodged at Jamnagar Railway Police Station (Okha Front) against three persons — Ashiq Mohammad, a native of Porbandar, Bharat Patel, a resident of Keshod in Junagadh and Mohammad Azgar, a resident of Mumbai.
Later, police also arrested another accomplice of Bharat Patel, Aarif Jamal (25), a resident of Okha, who arrived at Okha railway station to assist Ashiq Mohammad.
Police said the liquor was to be smuggled from Okha to Keshod in Junagadh via roadway. “The main accused Bharat Patel called Ashiq Mohammad on phone and asked him to collect the parcel from Okha railway station, giving an excuse that his vehicle wasn’t working. Patel sent Ashiq his Aadhaar card photo and a photo of the receipt through WhatsApp. He was supposed to pick up the liquor and hand it over to Patel in Keshod,” the official said.
“After arresting Ashiq Mohammad, we waited for his phone to ring again and Bharat called him again. We made Mohammad inform him that as his vehicle also broke down, he should come himself to Okha railway station and pick up the parcel. However, Patel sent Arif on his behalf to Okha and he was also arrested. Both GRP and Junagadh police are now looking for Bharat Patel,” added the official.
Police are now probing how over 2,200 bottles of IMFL were loaded at Bandra Terminus without any checking.
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