Mira-Bhayandar: Cops conduct raids in coastal areas, bust hooch den in twin city

In an attempt to flush out illegal liquor breweries (haath-bhatti) from their jurisdiction, the Mira Bhayandar- Vasai Virar (MBVV) police commissionerate frequently conducts raids in the coastal and rural areas of the twin-city.

The erstwhile Thane (rural) police had also started adopting various innovative methods including mobile applications and use of drones to locate the breweries. However despite this the local hooch mafia seems to be unfazed by the crackdown and continue with their nefarious activities even as the excise wing of the Thane district remains unaware about the presence of such dens in their jurisdiction.

Another point of concern is the mysterious disappearance of the den operators and their staffers who manage to flee the spot minutes before the arrival of the police team. After a 30 min walk deep into the mangrove belt near the creek in Murdha village near Bhayandar. Lady PSI- Manisha Patil and her team managed to locate an illicit liquor brewery and destroyed multiple barrels of hooch along with ingredients including fermented jaggery wash and other manufacturing equipment.

As it happens in most of the raids, the police failed to find any brewer at the spot. Moreover, the identity of the kingpin who had brazenly set up the illicit hooch brewing unit is yet to be ascertained. The police claim that since the dens are located deep inside the jungle area, the brewers who are well aware of the escape route manage to evade the dragnet.

A case under section 65 F (uses, keeps or has in his possession any materials, still utensils, implements or apparatus for the purpose of manufacturing any intoxicant) has been registered in this context at the Bhayandar police station. While further investigations were on into the case, most of these brewing dens are said to be located in deep forest areas and marshy land to prevent the smoke from being detected.

From urea to methanol and even rotten jaggery, the notorious bootleggers have been using all sorts of material to brew illicit hooch for quick fermentation which can claim the lives of those consuming it, like the Malad Malwani-like tragedy which had left around 100 people dead in 2015.

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