VISAKHAPATNAM: Panic gripped excise and police departments as interrogation of those arrested by the ACB in connection with illegal liquor trade began here on Wednesday. A team of AntiCorruption Bureau (ACB) officials started interrogating excise officers and members of liquor syndicates arrested on Feb 28, afterfollowing the ACB court granting them their custody.
A few days ago, ACB officials arrested 12 persons, including three top members of liquor syndicates, an assistant commissioner of prohibition and excise, two circle inspectors and a head constable. The arrested syndicate members include KVS Prasad, a key player in a citybased liquor syndicate, Pushakara Ganesh of Janapriya syndicate and O Eswara Rao of the syndicate at Srikakulam.
Sources said a special team of ACB from Hyderabad, including joint director K Sampath Kumar, arrived in the city specially to question the arrested persons. After raids on the houses of the suspects, ACB officials on January 28 arrested 12 persons who allegedly took bribes from liquor traders for smooth running of business.
Though the special court remanded the arrested persons to judicial custody till February 10, ACB officials petitioned for their custody to question them for further investigation. On Wednesday, the court granted ACB threeday custody of the arrested. Around six of the 12 arrested were questioned on Wednesday. ACB officials said they interrogated three from Visakhapatnam and three from Srikakulam.
Meanwhile, there were reports that the ACB found in the account books seized from liquor syndicates details of bribes paid to police and excise staff and also to some journalists.