Excise Department's Onam drive
The Excise Department, on Sunday, seized a car allegedly ferrying 665 litres of illicit spirit from Kundamankadavu, near Thirumala, after a three-hour chase. The driver fled the scene.
According to Excise sources, a team from the Peroorkada Excise office was on a special Onam vehicle checking drive when they saw a Hyundai Santro car speeding along the national highway, near Pallichal, Peroorkada.
The car went past the personnel who waved to stop. The team gave chase, on motorcycles and jeeps, but the car managed to weave its way through the morning traffic and through side-roads, at times going out of sight. There were a few occasions when the driver tried to hoodwink the Excise personnel by trying to ‘hide’ the car in by-lanes, but with more than one team in pursuit, the driver gave up finally, by 11.30 a.m.
The personnel found the car abandoned near a temple at Kundamankadavu. On examining the car, it was found that the spirit, in 19 plastic cans of 35-litre capacity each, was hidden under the rear seat.
The car, bearing the registration number KL-01-AS-4323, was seized and on further examination, the number was found to be fake. There were no other documents available inside the vehicle, officers said.
The team that made the seizure, the first during this Onam season, comprised Thiruvananthapuram Excise Range Inspector S. Sudheer, Assistant Excise Inspector S. Jayakumar, Preventive Officer A. Madhu, and guards, Harikrishnan, Venugopal, Manikandan, Anil Kumar, and Sajeer. Senior Excise officials told The Hindu that an ‘Onam special drive’ was launched on July 20 and was likely to continue till September 2. The campaign would be intensified and the entire department would now move into ‘action mode,’ sources said.