Andhra Pradesh

Liquor smuggling | Tight vigil on a long border in A.P.

Liquor tetra packets confiscated by the Special Enforcement Bureau sleuths in Kurnool district while being smuggled from across the border from Karnataka.   | Photo Credit: U. Subramanyam

Kurnool and Anantapur districts put together have the longest inter-State borders making it the most difficult region to keep a tab on smuggling of liquor – both Indian Made Foreign Liquor and Illicitly Distilled cheap one – as it has very difficult terrain ranging from high-rising hills, forests and rivers to barren lands resembling a desert.

If the difference in price for a particular brand is the main lure for the smugglers to take a risk and smuggle full bottles of costly wine/liquor, the tetra packets of cheaper variants that are easy to hide, carry and sell help them make easy money quickly.

Additional Superintendent of Police Gowthami Sali, the Kurnool district Special Enforcement Bureau head, says there are 10 static and five mobile check-posts functional 24X7 keeping track of every movement of the vehicles or people in all possible routes.

“The most difficult part is the check on transport via river route, as there is a lengthy border with Telangana along River Krishna and the SEB teams have been able to nab 8,098 accused till August 27 registering 5,879 cases since May 16 and confiscating 2,348 vehicles,” she says. All entry points from Gadwal district in Telangana, Raichur and Bellary districts are always under surveillance. About 40,492 litres of non-duty paid Indian Made Liquor was confiscated cumulatively during this period.

Inter-State meetings

In Anantapur district, Additional SP J. Rammohan Rao has been taking a special interest in enforcing the check on smuggling of liquor from Bellary and Chitradurga districts of Karnataka, tetra-packs being the most sought-after product brought in. “We have pro-actively gone and held meetings with our counterparts in the districts across the border and warned of action against the liquor outlets in the towns and villages close to the inter-State border,” Mr. Rammohan Rao tells The Hindu.

In 4,812 cases registered till Friday for offences of liquor smuggling and illicitly distilling liquor in the district, 5,109 persons were arrested for bringing in 3,04,000 tetra packets.

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2020 11:23:53 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/tight-vigil-on-a-long-border/article32533010.ece

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