Bootleggers beware! Excise security labels turn foolproof

Bootleggers beware! Excise security labels turn foolproof

New stickers to have 17 in-built features, a la currency notes

According to Excise department officials, Karnataka is the first state in the country to go in for security labels with features like hologram, bar code and guillochi pattern (intricate repetitive pattern seen on currency notes).

It all began when excise officials in their drive against spurious liquor found that bootleggers had mastered the art of forging excise security stickers that carry the signature of the excise commissioner, the emblem of the State government and a 10-digit serial number. They then decided to switch over to the new security labels.

All bottled liquor (except beer bottles and cans) will have to be compulsorily affixed with the hi-tech security labels.

The labels will be provided to the distilleries by the department on the basis on their indent and will be affixed on the bottles under the supervision of the jurisdictional excise officer, official sources said.

The new labels are said to be impossible to forge. The in-built features include visible and invisible signature of the excise commissioner, micro-lettering, three digit check number, 2D barcode, guillochi design, touch feel and intaglio rub mark.

It also has a concealed image which can be read only under ultra-violet light and a covert image readable only under laser. It’s also tamper free. Labels of different colours are affixed on bottles of different sizes.

Officials point out that introduction of the new labels will also help in keeping track of liquor consignment. It would also help to check leakage of revenue by way of curbing sale of non-duty paid liquor.

The department is procuring laser and UV reading equipment soon. The labels will have a secret number that will be visible only on flashing laser and UV light. The origin, date of bottling and other details can be ascertained based on the secret numbers, the officials added.

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