VIJAYAWADA: Sleuths of the Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) seized non-duty paid liquor (NDPL) worth Rs 20 lakhs in Kankipadu late on Friday. The stock, which contained liquor of different brands, were manufactured in Punjab and being brought to Machilipatnam, Vijayawada and Guntur from Kankipadu in a grass-laden lorry .
In a press conference on Saturday, deputy commissioner of police (DCP- I, L&O) Harshavardhan Raju said the accused--Veeranki Venkataramana alias Dhoola (36), Kondapalli Anand (39), Shaik Mahaboob Subhani (43) and Shaik Rafi (38)--had been in the illegal trade ever since a lockdown was enforced.
Since alcohol is expensive in Andhra Pradesh, especially after the recent hike in taxes, the prime accused, Venkataramana, got in touch with dealers in Punjab with the help of another accused. Since all the four were in lorry business, they struck a deal and paid the dealer Rs 4 lakh. “Anand owns a lorry, which he sent to Punjab to bring liquor.
To avoid police detection, the stock was covered in corn loads. The gang reached Andhra via Odisha. Based on a tipoff, we caught them and seized the stock,” DCP Harshavardhan said. Additional DSP and SEB special officer M Satti Babu said Venkataramana and Anand invested Rs 4 lakh to purchase the liquor.