KALPETTA : Following information about smugglers sneaking in contraband and other restricted items to the state under the cover of GST, the Excise Department and the Police have strengthened surveillance and vehicle checks at Muthanga check post in Wayanad bordering Karnataka. “We are checking vehicles coming from Karnataka,” said Excise Circle Inspector Sabu P Kurian. “We can’t let vehicles pass freely following the implementation of GST. We have specific direction to prevent smuggling of liquor, spirit and narcotic items.”
The police too have strengthened surveillance following an incident in which a lorry carrying a huge cache of explosives was seized following intelligence input. “Earlier, there was a fear among smugglers the vehicles will be checked at the state border by a sales tax team. Now with GST coming into force, they are taking chances,” said a police officer. “We have strengthened our surveillance and all suspected vehicles will be checked by police personnel. We will not allow anti-social elements to use GST as a window to smuggle items,” said Wayanad District Police Chief Rajpal Meena.
According to Sales Tax officers, there has been a dip in the arrival of vehicles carrying goods in the last couple of days. Vinod Kumar, an officer with the Sales Tax check post at Muthanga, said 14 staff were still working at the check post and at Anjam Mile. The sales tax team at Muthanga is now collecting a declaration from drivers and allowing them to pass the check post. The declaration details include information about the vehicle, address of the owner of the vehicle and goods in the vehicle.