In yet another action, exposing the apathy of the district excise department, Thane towards keeping a check on the unregulated flow of booze in the twin-city, sleuths of the Mira Bhayandar-Vasai Virar (MBVV) Police Commissionerate impounded a tempo which was caught ferrying Country Liquor (CL) in the coastal area of Uttan near an illegal manner.
A patrolling team from the Uttan coastal police station spotted a suspiciously parked delivery tempo near the municipal school on Shire Road in Uttan at around 5:15 pm on Saturday. Upon checking the tempo, it was found to be carrying sixteen boxes of country liquor.
The driver who has been identified as-Jagdish Yuvraj Ahire (30) was found to be in possession of Rs.19, 200 cash which is believed to be the proceeds of sale of the booze. Ahire was taken into custody after he failed to produce any license or permit to ferry the consignment. The value of the seized consignment and the impounded tempo has been pegged at Rs. 1.75 lakh, police said. However, the police are yet to ascertain the source and destination of the consignment.
“A case under section 65 A (imports or exports or transports any intoxicant) of the Prohibition Act has been registered in this context and a detailed probe was on to identify the supplier and the buyers. However, the accused was sent to magisterial custody when produced before the court on Monday.” said an investigating officer.
While the primary reason for this practice of unregulated trading is said to be aimed at causing revenue losses to the state exchequer, excise officers have been maintaining that there was no question of tax evasion as all applicable duties are levied at source.
Since its creation on 1, October, 2020, the MBVV police commissionerate has launched a crackdown on illicit liquor brewing dens and local gangs indulged in bootlegging of country liquor and Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) - especially in the Uttan-Bhayandar belt even as the concerned excise officials continue to remain in deep slumber. While it is a routine practise by the police to round-up bootleggers and transporters, action eludes suppliers- mostly local wine shop owners- in most of the cases.