Sleuths of the Prohibition Enforcement Wing (PEW) of the State police on Saturday raided TASMAC outlet in Tiruvallur district and seized large quantities of suspected spurious liquor. Two persons who purchased these bottles and tried to sell them outside were arrested.

Following a tip-off, a special team apprehended K. Ilayavarman (28) and his associate P. Egambaram of Tiruvallur, who were in possession of 180 suspected spurious liquor bottles. Based on their confession, the team raided a TASMAC shop in Sevvapet police station limits and seized 713 bottles containing the suspected spurious liquor. The shop supervisor and three salespersons were named as accused in the FIR.

“Prima facie, it appeared to be branded liquor mixed with tobacco juice. The combination enhances the level of intoxication.

The modus operandi of the accused was to take empty bottles from the bar and fill it with equal quantities of liquor and tobacco juice,” an investigator said.

Knowing that the police had detected the spurious liquor, salespersons in the shop escaped from the scene. Special teams were formed to apprehend them and investigate the source of the tobacco juice.

Additional Director-General of Police (Enforcement) C.K. Gandhi Rajan said there were several complaints of spurious liquor being sold at TASMAC outlets. “The spurious liquor seized from the shop is being sent for chemical analysis,” he told The Hindu.

In a separate development, surprise checks conducted by a team of Excise and Enforcement officials recently exposed several malpractices in more than 100 TASMAC outlets in different parts of the State. The check followed a downtrend in sales of IMFL. Short supply of fast-moving brands, non-availability of bars or unclean bars, lack of parking facility, etc. were cited as reasons for the fall in sales.

A report sent to the government in this regard, a copy of which was made available to his newspaper, pointed to violations such as stock of liquor in bars, unlicensed bars and abnormal stock in shops.

Unaccounted cartons of liquor, spurious liquor, IMFL liquor manufactured in Puducherry and liquor bottles without batch numbers were among the irregularities noticed during surprise checks conducted at TASMAC outlets.

Keywords: Chennai crime

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