The Hyderabad Excise team on Friday arrested a man for illegal manufacture and sale of liquor chocolates. P Pradeep Kumar, 36, was arrested from his home in Gayatri Nagar in Asif Nagar on Friday night. The officials also seized raw materials used for the manufacture of the chocolates from his home. The sale of liquor chocolates is an offence under Section 34(A) of Telangana Excise Act, attracting a punishment ranging from three to five years of imprisonment.
Pradeep Kumar, a businessman by profession, has allegedly been selling liquor chocolates to various car companies for the past one year. “The accused was mainly involved in the manufacture of whisky chocolates. He used to mix alcohol in the chocolate mould and manufacture them at his home in Gayathri Nagar. He catered to the orders of a number of car companies, who in turn, gave away these chocolates as token gifts to their customers,” K Karuna Reddy, an ESTF inspector, said.
“The accused put up an advertisement on the Indiamart website a few days ago regarding the sale, on the basis of which the arrest was made,” the Inspector added.
The ESTF team officials allegedly seized 2 kg of whisky liquor chocolates, 10 kg of dark compound raw material, essence bottles and moulding trays from the home of the accused. The accused, apart from the manufacture of liquor chocolates, is involved in the manufacture and sale of plastic crafts and bags.
The accused will be produced before the court on Saturday.
The Hyderabad excise team in July had cracked down on a number of shops, mainly gift and novelty stores, that openly sold liquor chocolates. A man was also arrested from Ameerpet in connection with manufacturing liquor chocolates at home.
“A few wholesalers are getting the products from various distributors across the country and selling it to local businessmen. A few persons are locally manufacturing without permission and supplying to the market. It is quite dangerous as they are not aware of the composition or the ingredients,” Inspector Karuna Reddy said.
While the manufacture and sale of liquor chocolates is an offence, consumption is not regarded as one. “Liquor chocolates are often brought home by our loved ones from foreign countries. Since the purpose (of bringing and distributing among loved ones) is consumption, it cannot be an offence. However, one needs a licence to sell liquor,” Karuna Reddy said.