The newly acquired drones and a fleet of fibre boats, seems to have infused fresh energy in the officials’ and personnel attached to the excise department which has launched a crackdown against bootleggers and notorious liquor mafia in Thane district. The excise department has conducted raids and registered 52 offences under the relevant sections of the Bombay Prohibition Act in just 15 days. 13, August to 28, August-2021. The offences include - bootlegging, manufacturing of illicit booze (haath-bhatti) and breach cases related to unauthorized sale of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) and country liquor by licensed vending establishments in the district.
As per information sourced out from officials attached to the excise department around 87,200 liters of chemicals, 1,613 liters of illicitly brewed liquor, 236 liters of country liquor, 204 bulk liters of IMFL and more than 159 bulk liters of beer has been seized in 52 raids conducted within a fortnight between 13, August to 28, August-2021. "We are on a mission mode to weed out the illicit liquor menace from the region and also ensure that no rules are breached by licensed vending establishments. The drone and boats are useful assets for us.
Strict action including offences under the Maharashtra Prevention of Dangerous Activities (MPDA) will be registered against repeat offenders." said newly appointed excise superintendent- Nilesh Sangade. While 28 people were arrested and booked under the relevant sections of the Bombay Prohibition Act, the teams impounded eleven vehicles which were used by the accused to ferry or smuggle liquor in an illegal manner.
The value of the seized consignment is pegged at more than Rs. 30 lakh. On the virtue of funding from the district planning committee (Thane), the collector-Rajesh Narvekar had facilitated a camera-mounted drone and eight fibre-made boats for the excise department last month.
The apparatus helps identify and track hooch brewing dens-especially those operating from dense mangrove belts located in the rural and coastal areas of the district including- Bhayandar, Uttan, Kalyan and Bhiwandi, officials said.