HYDERABAD: While continuing its raids on the liquor syndicates across Andhra Pradesh, the Anti- Corruption Bureau (ACB) today formed an SIT to speed up probe into the activities of liquor mafia.
"We have formed an SIT today, after necessary orders were issued in this regard to investigate into the activities of liquor syndicates," a senior ACB official said adding that the SIT will soon begin its probe.
The process of formation of the SIT is on, he said adding that the SIT will further speed up investigation into the alleged illegal activities of liquor syndicates, including sale of liquor above MRP.
ACB has been conducting raids in different districts across the state since December last year after "exposing" the liquor syndicate-political-officials nexus, with the arrest of a liquor syndicate leader, who, allegedly confessed that he paid Rs 10 lakh to State Excise Minister Mopivedi Venkat Ramana and 'mamools' (bribe) was also paid two MLAs.
The accused Nunna Venkata Ramana, who was arrested by the ACB on February 3 alleged that during last year, an amount of Rs 8.75 lakh was collected by Excise officials, Rs 3.95 lakh by various ranks of officials in Police Department, Rs 2.6 lakh by journalists and an amount of Rs 30.15 lakh was collected by politicians of various political parties in Khammam and Warangal districts.
According to the ACB remand report, Nunna, who runs 29 wine shops, is a liquor syndicate leader, with influence over 80 wine shops in Khammam and Warangal and he used to dictate about the "mamools" (bribes) to be paid to different persons, including political leaders besides excise and police officials.
The syndicates were formed towards seeking favours by way of not taking any action mandated under the Excise Act for commission of violations of excise laws, sale of liquor over and above MRP rates, cheap liquor, operation of illegal belt shops and sale of liquor for consumption without license, the remand report said.