Fake Delivery Alert: Man Caught Delivering Alcohol as Food Agent in Aurangabad

by Renee Koch

In an alarming incident, the State excise department of Chhatrapati Sambhajinagar apprehended a 26-year-old individual for illicitly delivering liquor, masquerading as a delivery agent for the popular food delivery service, Zomato. The accused, identified as Pratik Jaiswal from Bhajimandi in the cantonment area, has landed in legal trouble with an FIR registered against him at the Cantonment police station, further adding to his history of bootlegging offenses recorded in both police and excise department files.

This unusual case has startled the authorities, marking it as a possibly unprecedented scenario where someone exploited the guise of a food delivery personnel to engage in the illegal liquor trade. Upon interrogation, Jaiswal admitted to his involvement in such illicit activities, underscoring a concerning trend that has prompted law enforcement and the excise department to delve into the network of individuals who solicited his services for contraband liquor.

Investigations into the method of operation revealed a disturbing detail: bags emblazoned with the logos of legitimate food delivery enterprises are accessible on various e-commerce platforms, which the accused took advantage of to camouflage his illicit deliveries. According to Santosh Zagade, superintendent of state excise, the instance is a first of its kind where a bootlegger disguised himself so ingeniously as a delivery agent, prompting the authorities to consider sporadic checks on delivery personnel moving forward.

The uncovering of this racket followed a tip-off that led to a raid by Inspector Anand Choudhary and his team on Jaiswal’s supposed daily needs store. The operation yielded a significant haul of 1,032 bottles of assorted liquor valued at approximately Rs 1 lakh. The stash consisted of 332 bottles of foreign liquor, 305 bottles of country-made liquor, and 100 beer bottles, among other varieties, all clandestinely packed in food delivery bags.

This incident has ignited concerns about the ease with which individuals can misuse platforms meant for everyday conveniences for unlawful activities. The case not only signifies a clear violation of the stringent regulations surrounding alcohol distribution but also serves as a cautionary tale for regulatory bodies and delivery services about potential misuses of their branding and infrastructure.

Authorities are now tightening the noose around this unconventional form of bootlegging, with a focus on curbing the increasing ingenuity displayed by individuals involved in the illegal liquor trade. The arrest of Pratik Jaiswal is seen as a crucial step in the crackdown on such activities, signaling a tougher stance against those exploiting online delivery services for unlawful purposes.


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