A duty-free liquor shop at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International (SVPI) Airport in Ahmedabad has been shut down due to violations.
The state’s Prohibition and Excise department has shut down the shop for illegally selling alcohol to all arriving passengers and operating without a valid No Objection Certificate (NOC). Passengers purchase duty-free goods, including liquor, when traveling abroad. However, the duty-free shop, operated by Mumbai Travel Retail Pvt. Ltd (MTRPL), was allegedly selling liquor to all arriving passengers at SVPI airport.
A senior official of Prohibition and Excise said, “The Prohibition Act is effective in Gujarat, and an NOC from our department is required to sell liquor through duty-free shops at the airport.”
He added, “According to the state’s prohibition rules, liquor could only be sold to NRIs or foreigners arriving from abroad at this duty-free shop. However, the shop was selling liquor to all passengers arriving at the airport, making it an illegal outlet. When we discovered this, we issued a notice and closed the shop.”
There were flaws in the NOC process, as the duty-free shop had an old NOC issued by the department in 2005, but no valid NOC was procured thereafter.
An MTRPL spokesperson said, “MTRPL is a reputed Pan India Duty Free Operator that complies with all applicable laws. The store wasn’t raided. We shut it. We only sell liquor to international passengers (departure/arrival) from the duty-free shop while following customs baggage rules.”