Mumbai; Tech-savvy cops are getting smarter to gather leads, crack cases of crime and weed out criminals from their hideouts, who otherwise would have called on informers for help.
Using Google satellites, police personnel located two illicit liquor brewing unit in Bhayandar on Saturday. On an overdrive to flush out the notorious hooch mafia from the region, sleuths of the Thane (rural) police, under the instructions of SP — Dr. Mahesh Patil, have been launching search operations in the region, especially some of the isolated zones running deep into the jungles and marshy land in and around the villages of Bhayandar, which have emerged as the favourite destinations for illicit liquor brewers (haath-bhatti’s).
While several bootleggers have been rounded up, the Bhayandar police, led by Senior Police Inspector- Rajendra Kamble, recently busted half a dozen haath bhatti’s that were clandestinely operating in the rural areas of the city.
On Saturday, the cops received a tip-off about a brewing unit in the Shivneri area of Rai village near Bhayandar. A team led by PSI Sagar Chavhan used the Google Earth application to locate the exact position of two brewing units and also alternative routes to reach the spots.
While the kingpin, identified as Prakash K. Patil, was arrested and booked under section 65 of the Bombay Prohibition Act, multiple barrels of hooch along with ingredients including 650 litres of fermented jaggery wash and other manufacturing equipment were seized and later destroyed by the police team.
“We are on the trail of the liquor supply chain and some notorious bootleggers are on the radar,” said Kamble, who is contemplating cash rewards to those providing credible information about such dens.
To minimize smoke emission, gas fuelled furnaces were being used instead of firewood at these hooch dens.
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