Adulteration of premium brand liquor sold through IMFL outlets of Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC) has come to light.
As many as 379 persons working in TASMAC shops and bars have been arrested and 1,800 vehicles involved in smuggling of spurious liquor have been seized this year.
Since January this year, the Prohibition Enforcement Wing of the Tamil Nadu police has registered 359 cases against TASMAC staff/bar employees across the State for violating provisions under the Tamil Nadu Prohibition Act and Excise Rules. The main charge is that small quantities of premium brand liquor are stolen and filled in bottles wrapped with fake labels. The stolen liquor is usually compensated with water, police sources said.
The modus operandi of the suspects is to procure bottles, labels and holograms from Puducherry.
These bottles are filled with liquor stolen from the stock of premium IMFL brands. After fixing the fake labels, hologram and seal, the bottles are sold in the shop or bar.
After conducting joint surprise checks along with senior TASMAC officials, the PEW registered 359 cases, seizing adulterated liquor bottles. This year, 275 employees of bars, 47 bar owners and 57 salesmen/supervisors of TASMAC shops were arrested and remanded in judicial custody.
“We are also coming across cases of spurious liquor purchased in Puducherry, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and other places being sold as branded liquor in the bars, restaurants and roadside shops. After eradicating illicit arrack, our focus has shifted to averting smuggling of other State liquor into Tamil Nadu,” Additional Director-General of Police (Prohibition) C.K. Gandhi Rajan said.
Vigil was intensified at prohibition 45 check-posts spread across 17 districts abutting other States.
The local police were conducting raids at vulnerable places and vehicle checks on roads leading to the State borders. “Since January, we have registered 79,000 cases of prohibition offences and 1,800 vehicles used commit the offence were seized,” he said.
Dr. Gandhi Rajan said the ‘1058’ helpline was receiving a lot of information from the public on prohibition offences. 1,400 calls were received since it was established in July.