Liquor haul in 'dry' Manipur
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- Published 4.01.12
Imphal, Jan. 3: Officials of the state excise department seized India-made and imported foreign liquor valued at Rs 3 lakh and arrested a member of a bootlegging gang operating in Imphal city.
The sleuths seized 43 cases of liquor on December 31 during a raid at the godown and destroyed the bottles at the office complex of the department in the presence of assistant commissioner of excise K. Joykumar Singh today.
“We raided three small godowns of the bootlegging gang at Mahatma Gandhi Avenue in Imphal city on December 31. We seized 43 cases of full and half bottles,” the official said.
The gang leader, known as Chandu, escaped and is still absconding.
The excise officials caught Chandu’s younger brother Rajesh, who was released after paying a fine of Rs 10,000, according to the Manipur Prohibition Act.
The seized liquor included Chivas Regal and Johnny Walker, Scotch made in Scotland, French wine and beer made in Canada. During interrogation, Rajesh told the officials that the imported liquor cases were brought from neighbouring Myanmar through Manipur’s border township of Moreh.
“We have learnt the route and mode of smuggling of the foreign-made liquor. The smugglers brought the cases by concealing them under goods procured from Tamu of Myanmar. We are trying to strengthen checking at Moreh,” Joykumar Singh said.
The India-made foreign liquor is brought through Imphal-Dimapur and Imphal-Jiribam highways by trucks.
Manipur is a dry state and sale and consumption of liquor, including country brew, are banned. The maximum fine for sale of liquor is Rs 10,000. The excise officials are trying to arrest Chandu, hailing from Bihar.
Sources said Chandu and his team were the primary source of India-made and imported foreign liquor for the rich people and government officials.
This is the second time excise officials seized and destroyed liquor in the past week.
The officials destroyed 2,020 litres of country liquor seized from various places on December 28.
The department collected Rs 50,000 in fines.