VILLUPURAM : It was like a stunt scene from an action movie when a team of officials from the Marakkanam Prohibition and Enforcement Wing (PEW) after a hot chase seized 1,000 litres of rectified spirit, approximately worth `2 lakh, which was being smuggled in a minivan on Saturday night.
It all started when officials at the Ulagapuram check post near Brahmadesam spotted a speeding minivan headed towards them. On suspicion, they signalled the driver to stop, but the vehicle sped away.
Following this, the officials gave chase for about 10 kilometres and intercepted the minivan at Ulagapuram - Sitlapakkam border and arrested the driver. Upon inspecting the vehicle, the team found 1,000 litres of rectified spirit packed in 40 polyester packets. The driver was identified as Pandiyaraj (38) of Puducherry.
Enquiries revealed that he was transporting the spirit from a private arrack shop in Pillayarkuppam at Puducherry to a former arrack dealer near Marakkanam.
Based on the information, officials arrested the private arrack shop owner Kumar (who has licence to sell arrack in Puducherry) and his two salesmen Ezhilarasan and Shanmugam from Puducherry. They also arrested Ganga alias Gangadharan of Thazhangadu near Marakkanam who had reportedly stopped selling arrack.
Though the arrested persons are yet give details about their dealings, officials confirmed that Gangadharan was only a middleman in the business.
The police also suspect that a Kancheepuram-based arrack dealer might be the kingpin of the group. However, they refused to reveal his identity.