Unfazed by the recent crackdown initiated against them by the police, the notorious hooch mafia not only continues to raze its ugly head in the region, but seems to have upgraded their brewing apparatus in order to avoid prying eyes.
Yet another illicit liquor brewing unit (haath-bhatti) was busted by the Uttan coastal police station on Tuesday. As usual, officials from the excise department continued to turn a blind eye to the illegal activities and remained in slumber.
Interestingly, the operators of the brewing unit were found to be using gas powered furnaces and other apparatus, instead of the traditional wood fuelled manual bhatti’s to minimize smoke emission and avoid police action.
Based on a specific tip-off, a team led by Assistant Police Inspector Satish Nikam under the supervision of ACP Shashikant Bhosale unearthed the illicit manufacturing unit that had been set up on the hillocks behind Stella Maris Hospital in the Dhavgi area of Uttan.
Raw ingredients including fermented jaggery wash, urea, gas-powered burners, LPG cylinders and other manufacturing equipment worth more than Rs 1 lakh was seized by the police team.
While the police destroyed the equipment and chemical used to brew the illicit liquor, two people identified as Delton Vincent Gracious (32) and Marshal Kisan Patil (29) were arrested from the spot.
In continuance with the action by the erstwhile Thane (rural) police, the newly created Mira Bhayandar–Vasai Virar (MBVV) has launched a crackdown to weed out the illegalities.
Excise Wings Plays Blind:
Despite the police crackdown, the excise department of Thane district which is led by none other than the collector, has mysteriously refrained from taking action against the notorious booze mafia, despite their massive presence, especially in the Uttan-Bhayandar belt.
Meanwhile a case under the relevant sections of the Bombay Prohibition Act has been registered against the duo at the Uttan coastal police station.
Further investigations were on.