As personnel from the Mira Bhayandar-Vasai Virar (MBMC) Police Commissionerate led by Sadanand Date tightened the screws on the illicit liquor trade in the twin-city, the notorious bootleggers have taken the sea route to continue their nefarious activities.
This came to light after an alert personnel from the Uttan coastal police station arrested a 23-year-old man identified as Nitin Hallya Wagh who was caught ferrying illicit liquor in a fiber-made boat at the shorelines of Chowk jetty in Uttan near Bhayandar at around 7:30 am on Tuesday.
Police personnel Viktiwan Bhanudas Dhaigude who was on night duty received a tip-off that consignments of illicit liquor was being transported through the sea route. The cop alerted his higher-ups and along with his colleagues under the instructions of API Satish Nikam, seized a small fiber-made fishing boat which was loaded with five gunny bags stuffed with 30 plastic bags each containing 10 liters of illicit liquor.
The value of the seized consignment is pegged at Rs 55,000. While the excise department of Thane district continues to remain in slumber, the police have launched a massive crackdown against the hooch mafia and bootleggers by busting several liquor brewing units (haath-bhatti), especially in the Uttan-Bhayandar belt where isolated zones running deep into the jungles and marshy land had become a favourite destinations for local brewers.
Police suspect that the hooch was transported in a bigger diesel powered boat which originated from the coastline near Vasai and then transferred into the small fiber-boat, thus pointing towards a bigger and well-oiled racket to hoodwink the police.
Meanwhile, a case under the relevant sections of the Bombay Prohibition Act has been registered against the accused who lives on the hillocks in Dhavgi village near Uttan.
Further investigations were on.