In a major haul, Kayamkulam police led by Deputy Superintendent of Police (DySP), S. Deva Manohar seized 5,145 litres of illegal spirit in a small-coir unit in Govindamuttam in Puthuppally near Kayamkulam in the district on Tuesday midnight.

The spirit stored in 147 containers was being loaded on to a lorry parked inside the unit when the police team reached the spot, acting on a tip-off. The persons engaged in loading the spirit containers and others on the spot ran way seeing the police.

The unit was being rented out to a person, who had allegedly stored spirit there. The police also took the lorry into custody. A case has been registered under the Abkari Act, Dy SP, Mr. Manohar told The Hindu.

No one was arrested so far in the incident.

This is a major haul since five years or so from Kayamkulam , which had become the nerve centre of illegal spirit trade in the State.

There were several official reports citing police, politicians and so-called spirit lobby active in the area. Sources said that the illegal spirit flow has been continuing for a long time, but police and excise were not acting to arrest the flow. What is being seized on Wednesday is just a tip of the iceberg.

Recently, police highway patrol in Kalavoor area had asked an autorickshaw to stop and found that it was carrying illegal spirit in 13 containers from Aluva. The police were surprised that the autorickshaw went unchecked all this far. Kayamkulam was the nerve centre was proved yet again recently when illegal spirit seized from Palakkad and Adoor recently were those despatched to Kayamkulam, sources said.

Sources said that fight between the ‘North spirit lobby (comprising lobby from Aluva, Perumbavoor, Thrissur and Palakkad) and ‘South lobby' might be behind the present seizure. The startling revelation of the illegal spirit flow is the involvement of college students as carriers of this trade.