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Another scam in State excise dept

By Rituraj Borthakur
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GUWAHATI, June 11 - In what appears to be another multi-crore-rupee scam in the State excise department, extra neutral alcohol (ENA), used for producing distilled spirits like vodka, rum, whiskey, etc., was imported from other states using fake permits.

After the scam has come to light, Excise Minister Parimal Suklabaidya has sought a report from the department, official sources told The Assam Tribune.

Initial investigations suggest that the scam took place between 2009-10 and 2013-14.

The sources said that the scam came to light following a probe by police in Haryana where a couple of ENA suppliers had lodged forgery cases against some buyers in Assam, located in the districts of Tinsukia, Sivasagar, etc.

�The permits to import the ENA should be issued by the excise department here. The importer companies procured one permit. Later, they forged the signatures, made duplicates and with those they imported many more consignments. The suppliers are mostly based in Haryana and Punjab,� sources privy to the preliminary investigations conducted by the excise department said.

A team from Haryana Police recently visited the State to verify documents, including certificates and permits produced by the importers here to the suppliers based in the north Indian state.

There were signatures of senior State excise officials in the forged permits, but those officials have claimed that the signatures are fake. In fact, a deputy commissioner of excise has lodged a case with Hatigaon police here over the signature forgery issue.

Sources in the excise department said that the scam could be to the tune of several crores of rupees.

Excise Minister Parimal Suklabaidya told this newspaper today that a high level inquiry will be conducted into the matter. �Police is conducting an investigation. We will also conduct a probe from the department,� he said.

�The officers are claiming that the signatures are forged. But if any officer is found to be involved, he or she will not be spared,� the minister warned.

There are two distilleries (Khatkhati and Chaygaon), eight bottling plants, 75 bonded warehouses and over 2,000 retailers, including wine shops and bars, in the State. Many wine shops and bars are currently closed due to the Supreme Court ruling over their distance from highways.

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Another scam in State excise dept

GUWAHATI, June 11 - In what appears to be another multi-crore-rupee scam in the State excise department, extra neutral alcohol (ENA), used for producing distilled spirits like vodka, rum, whiskey, etc., was imported from other states using fake permits.

After the scam has come to light, Excise Minister Parimal Suklabaidya has sought a report from the department, official sources told The Assam Tribune.

Initial investigations suggest that the scam took place between 2009-10 and 2013-14.

The sources said that the scam came to light following a probe by police in Haryana where a couple of ENA suppliers had lodged forgery cases against some buyers in Assam, located in the districts of Tinsukia, Sivasagar, etc.

�The permits to import the ENA should be issued by the excise department here. The importer companies procured one permit. Later, they forged the signatures, made duplicates and with those they imported many more consignments. The suppliers are mostly based in Haryana and Punjab,� sources privy to the preliminary investigations conducted by the excise department said.

A team from Haryana Police recently visited the State to verify documents, including certificates and permits produced by the importers here to the suppliers based in the north Indian state.

There were signatures of senior State excise officials in the forged permits, but those officials have claimed that the signatures are fake. In fact, a deputy commissioner of excise has lodged a case with Hatigaon police here over the signature forgery issue.

Sources in the excise department said that the scam could be to the tune of several crores of rupees.

Excise Minister Parimal Suklabaidya told this newspaper today that a high level inquiry will be conducted into the matter. �Police is conducting an investigation. We will also conduct a probe from the department,� he said.

�The officers are claiming that the signatures are forged. But if any officer is found to be involved, he or she will not be spared,� the minister warned.

There are two distilleries (Khatkhati and Chaygaon), eight bottling plants, 75 bonded warehouses and over 2,000 retailers, including wine shops and bars, in the State. Many wine shops and bars are currently closed due to the Supreme Court ruling over their distance from highways.