Pudding & Mink's license 'suspended' indefinitely after drug raid : Excise officer

Since banned substances (4.64 gms of cocaine) were found in the pub during the raid, this has attracted violation under the Bar Rules. Stage 2 of the case will be issuing the pub management a show-cause notice, asking them why their license should not be cancelled. Based on their explanation, action will be taken. For now, the license has been suspended, indefinitely.

By Coreena Suares  Published on  4 April 2022 3:20 PM GMT
Pudding & Minks license suspended indefinitely after drug raid : Excise officer

Hyderabad: Telangana's Excise and Prohibition department has indefinitely 'suspended' the license of Pudding & Mink pub housed at Radisson Blu Hotel, Banjara Hills. The suspension comes after the seizure of drugs during a mid-dawn raid by the city task force on 3 April.

The Hyderabad task force received credible information that Pudding & Mink, the pub at Radisson Blu Hotel on Road No. 6, Banjara Hills, was open at 1:40 a.m and that there was a huge crowd and that some guests were also doing drugs.

Upon receiving the tip-off, the task force raided Pudding & Mink at 2 a.m and found more than 140 persons consuming liquor on the premises. After inspection, five small packets containing white powder suspected to be cocaine were found in one of the plastic containers used to hold drinking straws on the bar counter.

Speaking to NewsMeter, a senior officer from the Excise and Prohibition department said, "The special license granted to five-star hotels allows them to operate 24x7. However, since banned substances (4.64 gms of cocaine) were found in the pub during the raid, this has attracted violation under section 31 of Excise Act for violating the Bar Rules. Stage 2 of the case will be issuing the pub management a show-cause notice, asking them why their license should not be cancelled. Based on their explanation, action will be taken. For now, the license has been suspended, indefinitely."

According to a document in possession with NewsMeter, the Pudding & Mink management paid Rs. 52.66 lakh for the license as part of its annual fee and Rs. 14 lakhs towards Excise tax. The license is in the name of Kasibatta Ashok to sell Indian-made foreign liquor (2B license).

Meanwhile Minister for Excise and Prohibition V. Srinivas Goud has issued a verbal warning against drug abuse in city pubs and said license will be revoked if banned substances were found. The minister is likely to hold a second round of meeting with city pub owners followed the raid incident.

Who owns Pudding & Mink

According to records, two young individuals – Abhishek Vuppala, the son of BJP leader Vuppala Sarada, and Arjun Veeramachineni – own the club. During the raids, cops found Abhishek Vuppala at the venue, while Arjun was out of the city. The midnight raid at Hyderabad's elite pub has created a flutter in the twin cities.

It should be noted that 150 people were following the raid, including Mega family member and Tollywood actress Niharika Konedila, singer and Big Boss winner Rahul Sipligunj, former Congress MP's son Arvind Kumar Yadhav, TDP MP's son Siddartha Galla, kin of a senior IPS officer serving in Andhra Pradesh, and many other businessmen, besides four foreign nationals.

According to the police, the partners of Pudding & Mink allow only an elite few customers and their guests access to their pub. They run the pub till the early hours. The pub has an app that generates a code for each customer and the customers can access the pub only by entering the code at the main entrance.

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