Lucknow: After fake mineral water racket hitting the country, illegal racket of cheap quality liquor sprawling in Uttar Pradesh in full vigour has come to the fore. The local liquor prepared in illegal furnaces is being sold in branded bottles to attract customers who are duped in the name of canteen liquor or liquor brought from other states.

The Excise Department seems to be pleased by its growing revenue but the illegal liquor racket has been fooling people since long.

The racket has been spreading its feet in Deoria in UP and Siwan and Gopalganj furnaces in Bihar. It is sold in bottles with fake holograms to dupe the alcoholics. The agents establish themselves near liquor shops and attract the habitual drinkers by luring them in the name of canteen liquor which can be acquired at much cheaper rates than the Market Rate Price (MRP).

According to a victim, when the customers inquire about the details, they are assured in the name of stolen liquor from Jharkhand, Haryana or an adjoining area as the cheaper prices are enough to lure the alcohol lovers.

The police has nabbed three such traders last week with 139 boxes of illegal liquor worth Rs 7 lakh from Deoria district. The accused told the police that they buy alcohol at cheap prices from other states and pack them in bottles of registered companies to sell them at higher prices. The police has also seized hologram rappers and labels from them.

However, Special Inspector General of Police (Law and order) Brijlal said, “Strict action is being taken against the traders but the police and authority have still not reached the racket master.”