Cops paddle their way to bust hooch brewing den in Bhayandar

Despite a series of raids and destruction of over a dozen illegal liquor breweries (haath-bhatti) in and around the rural and coastal of the Bhayandar-Uttan belt, by the police in the recent past, the notorious liquor mafia continues to raze its ugly head at regular intervals. Acting a specific tip off, a team led by API- Satish Nikan under the instructions of DCP- Amit Kale and ACP- Shashikant Jadhav busted the brewing unit which was operating from an isolated zone, running deep into the marshy swamps in the interior stretches of the creek in Morva village near Bhayandar on Saturday.

“It was a harrowing task as our police team had to paddle their way on a boat to unearth the massive illegalities located amidst dense thickets of mangroves. The accused operated during the night time to avoid detection of smoke emission from the traditional wood-powered furnaces,” said API Satish Nikam.

While officials from the district excise department, Thane continue to remain in slumber, the Mira Bhayandar- Vasai Virar (MBVV) police led by commissioner- Sadanand Date has launched a crackdown on the notorious liquor mafia. The police team destroyed multiple barrels of hooch along with ingredients including 12,500 liters of fermented jaggery wash and other manufacturing equipment worth more than Rs.79,000.

The police team comprising- Sub Inspector-Krunal Kulewad, personnel- Ganesh Pawar, Viktivan Dhaigude and Yuvraj Kamble sported half-pants and T-shirts as they had to literally wade through slush to weed out their target after the boat ride, officials said.

The den operator identified as-Anjesh Prabhakar Gharat, 44, – a resident of Brahman Nagar in Morva village was caught red handed and booked under the relevant sections of the Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949 for possessing, transporting, selling or buying any intoxicant and usage of any materials, utensils, or apparatus for the purpose of manufacturing any intoxicant. Further investigations were underway.

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