Booze haul on a high as Chennai begins dry weekend - The New Indian Express

Booze haul on a high as Chennai begins dry weekend

Published: 26th January 2013 07:52 AM

Last Updated: 26th January 2013 07:52 AM

With tipplers across the State stocking up for a long, dry weekend, the City Police cracked the whip on the grey market for liquor, seizing around 14,531 bottles of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) and arresting nine bootleggers in the city on Friday.

As many as 11,900 IMFL bottles were seized from three persons, who were later arrested, in two separate incidents at Pulianthope. With the locals jostling to catch a glimpse of the huge number of liquor bottles seized on a dry day, the police station looked like a TASMAC outlet.

In the first incident, the Basin Bridge Police received a tip-off on the grey market sale of IMFL bottles at Choolai by a 45-year old woman.  The police rushed to the spot and caught the woman red-handed while she was selling the liquor at exorbitant rates with the help of her son. The woman, Jhansi (45), and her son Narendran (20), an auto rickshaw driver, were subsequently taken into custody. A subsequent raid at her house unearthed another 5,300 bottles.

Another tip-off to the police on a similar racket operating at Pulianthope led to the arrest of another man, identified as Viswanathan (20) of Canal Street, from whom 6,600 IMFL bottles were seized.

Explaining the modus operandi of such rackets to reporters here, ADC (PEW) S Jayakumar said the bootleggers buy the liquor from TASMAC outlets at the rate `70 per bottle and sell it for a huge margin during the dry days.“As the demand goes up, they inflate the prices as well. Jhansi was arrested in similar cases on several occasions. This time, the catch was huge,” he said.

A senior police official told Express that they were also holding inquiries as to how the accused managed to procure such a huge amount of liquor from state-run liquor outlets.

Meanwhile, a man on a two-wheeler was arrested while trying to smuggle IMFL from Puducherry during a vehicle check at T Nagar. As many as 2,056 bottles, including beer cans, were seized from the man, later identified as Vijay (29), a resident of Kodungaiyur.

During a similar crackdown at Adambakkam on Wednesday night, 575 bottles of IMFL, an auto and three two-wheelers were seized from five persons, who were subsequently arrested, by the PEW wing.

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