Have demand, will brew: Illicit liquor business thrives along Masula coast

Excise and Prohibition staff destroying ID liquor on Machilipatnam coast in Krishna district.   | Photo Credit: BYARRANGEMENT

The production of illicitly distilled (ID) liquor has been intensified in scores of villages along the Machilipatnam coast and tribal areas in Western Krishna district. Reason? A spurt in demand after shutting down of belt shops across the district.

The Prohibition and Excise Department led by Superintendent (Excise-Machilipatnam) M. Manoha and Assistant Superintendent D. Prabhakar have listed out villages where production of the ID liquor was in full swing.

According to them, the seven mandals witnessing mass production of ID liquor are: Machilipatnam rural, Bantumilli, Kruthivennue on the Machilipatnam coast, Vissannapeta, Tiruvuru, Nuzvid, and Mylavaram in Western Krishna district.

“Tracing the source where the liquor is being brewed with black jaggery as the major ingredient is becoming difficult, given their location which cannot be easily accessible on the coastline,” observed Assistant Superintendent (Excise-Machilipatnam) D. Prabhakar.

Huge haul

In recent raids, a whopping 25,000 litres of black jaggery wash and liquor have been destroyed, registering cases against 85 persons in Krishna district.

At least 38 persons found involved in ID liquor production were made to sign bind-over papers with the revenue authorities. Recently, as many as 110 old-offenders in ID liquor cases have signed the bind-over agreement.

Booze business families

The case registered in Bantumilli mandal in October had an interesting revealation: entire families of the respective areas have been involved in the ID liquor production and sale, hoping to make big bucks cashing on the new demand.

Mr. Prabhakar explained the plan of action: “Our one-month plan includes registering cases against those supplying the ingredients, mostly black jaggery and, the owner of the land where the ID liquor was being produced. Every week, teams from the State Task Force, Vijayawada-based Enforcement Wing and Village Volunteers will raid the strategic villages,”

Superintendent (Excise-Machilipatnam) M. Manoha told The Hindu: “The Ward Volunteers became the credible source for us to prevent the emerging illegal trade of ID liquor.”

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 4:29:10 PM |

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