Prohibition wing on its toes to check hoarding of liquor bottles

Hoarding of liquor bottles for illegal sale has been reported in parts of Karur and Pudukottai districts after closure of TASMAC outlets in view of the complete lockdown announced by the State government.

Liquor bottles were seized in large numbers during raids conducted jointly by teams of Prohibition and Enforcement Wing (PEW) and local police. Over 6,500 liquor bottles have been confiscated from hoarders in the two districts since May 10 and the police have booked a slew of prohibition cases and arrested the accused, official sources said.

Illicit distillation of liquor was detected in Pudukottai district and several litres of fermented wash apparently meant to be used for the manufacture of illicit arrack were confiscated.

In Karur district alone, police sources said, 3,878 liquor bottles were confiscated from May 10-15 during raids based on specific information. Fifty-five prohibition cases were booked during the period with the raiding parties arresting 56 accused so far.

During one raid conducted at Vengamedu in the district, a police team acting on information seized 1,714 liquor bottles illegally stocked in the house of S. Murugesan, 41, who was subsequently arrested and sent for remand.

In Pudukottai district, a special police team seized 2,692 liquor bottles that were illegally stocked in a house in Udayalipatti police station limits in Keeranur sub division. The raid was conducted based on secret information that liquor bottles were hoarded in the house for illegal sale to customers during the lockdown period.

The team arrested three persons including the owner of the house where the bottles were found illegally stocked in 72 boxes. Inquiries with the accused revealed that the bottles were purchased a few days before the lockdown was clamped and illegally stocked in the house belonging to K. Kaliyaperumal as it was located on the outskirts of the village.

Similar drives were conducted near Keeranur and at Tirumayam in the district in the last two days leading to the seizure of over 280 liquor bottles that were stocked illegally.

On Saturday, a special team led by Superintendent of Police, Pudukottai, L. Balaji Saravanan seized 3,150 litres of fermented wash from a desolate bushy area at Karukakurichi village in Alangudi sub-division. The fermented wash was kept there apparently for distillation of illicit arrack. Although none was arrested in connection with the seizure, the district police were conducting investigation with regard to the accused involved in the illegal act, said the sources.

Even as law enforcers were involved in strictly enforcing the lockdown they were also simultaneously monitoring closely if such illegal acts were happening in Pudukottai district, said Mr. Balaji Saravanan.

He warned that stringent action would be initiated against the accused.

Prohibition raids were being conducted every day and police were also keeping a watch on previous prohibition offenders in Karur district, said Superintendent of Police, Karur, G. Shashank Sai.

The raids would continue and additional strength had been provided to the Prohibition and Enforcement Wing by drawing manpower from the District Armed Reserve unit to carry out the raids, he added.

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