New Delhi: The national capital witnessed a spurt in smuggling of liquor in the past four years with the Excise Department arresting 2,660 persons and seizing 1,296 vehicles in the period.
Officials said bootleggers bought illicit liquor from Haryana and sold them in the national capital and neighbouring areas of Uttar Pradesh. The department's Excise Intelligence Bureau keeps a check on the bootleggers who mostly trade in spurious liquor.
According to data available with the department, as many as 533 persons were arrested for stocking illicit liquor and 275 vehicles were seized from April 2010 to March 2011 while 753 persons were arrested and 351 vehicles seized by excise officials in 2013-14.
"During the period 2011-12, as many as 654 persons were arrested for stocking smuggled liquor and 302 vehicles were seized, but this number increased in 2012-13 (rpt 2012-13) with 720 persons being arrested and 368 vehicles seized," said an official.
Excise officials in the national capital arrest around 350 people on an average during the festival season every year for possessing illicit liquor.
Now, with the onset of the wedding season and over one month left for Christmas and the New Year, the demand of alcohol is set to soar.
"The department has formed several teams to keep a check on bootleggers, and if any resident complains about illegal stocking in their neighbourhood, we also carry out raids," the official added.
The excise officials are also intensifying their drive against 'illegal' liquor bought from outside Delhi or procured through unauthorised sources.