Statewide VACB raids in Bevco outlets bring out major irregularities
Of the 78 units inspected under operation ‘Moonlight’, 70 outlets were found to be erring.
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) detected severe irregularities in the functioning of the beverages corporation’s liquor outlets in the state during a raid that commenced on Saturday evening.
Under the operation code-named ‘Moonlight’, the vigilance raided 78 selected outlets in the state and unearthed irregularities in 70 of them. In the erring 70 outlets, there was a mismatch between the total amount of liquor sold and the cash collected. In the majority of such outlets, the cash found in the counter was less than the actual sale. In a very few outlets, excess money was recovered from the counter.
In Kasaragod, Kannur, Malappuram, Pathanamthitta, Idukki, Kozhikode, Palakkad and Thrissur districts, it was found that certain outlets promoted the sale of particular types and brands of liquor. The vigilance sleuths said they will inspect whether the representatives of the liquor companies had influenced the beverages corporation staff to promote their brands.
In certain outlets in Palakkad, Kannur, Kasaragod and Thiruvananthapuram districts, it was found that the stock of liquor was less than what was shown on records. Another major finding was regarding the damaged liquor bottles. In Palakkad, Kasaragod, Thrissur, Kozhikode, Kollam, Thiruvananthapuram and Idukki districts, some outlets were found to have entered on record huge number of bottles as damaged.
For example, in Kulappully outlet in Palakkad, liquor worth Rs 3.93 lakh was shown to have been damaged while in Karikkamkulam outlet in Kozhikode, the figure was Rs 3.75 lakh. On inspection, the officials said, more than half of the damaged bottles were of plastic. In some outlets, the plastic bottles that were mentioned as damaged were found intact. The officials said they will investigate whether there was any scam behind writing off a large number of bottles as damaged.
During the raids, it was also found that in most of the outlets, bottles were not wrapped in newspaper sheets as per rules. However, the managers of the outlets had spent money to purchase newspaper sheets.
In some outlets, the managers were found to have employed people on daily wages in the outlets without the knowledge of the corporation. The vigilance will file a detailed report with the government on the discrepancies they have detected during the raids.
A drop too much
- In the majority of the 70 erring outlets, the cash found in the counter was less than the actual sale while in some, there was excess money
- Certain outlets promoted the sale of particular types and brands of liquor
- Another major finding was regarding the damaged liquor bottles. Some outlets were found to have entered on record huge num-ber of bottles as damaged