In an attempt to prevent smuggling of liquor from neighbouring states during the lockdown, Maharashtra has sealed its borders with them and deployed adequate manpower at a dozen checkposts, an official said on Friday. The move by the excise department has come in the wake of lifting of certain coronavirus-induced curbs, which included allowing reopening of liquor shops.
As the demand for alcohol has increased in Maharashtra, there is a possibility of liquor smuggling by inter-state organised syndicates, the official said. Considering the threat from such syndicates, the excise department has deployed its flying squads and vigilance teams in districts located along the borders with neighbouring states, he said.
To avoid any smuggling activity during this period, we have increased our vigil on 12 checkposts and sealed borders with adjoining states," he said. This will help in curbing illegal transportation of liquor or spirit, the official said.
With the help of local police, the excise department has initiated action against persons involved in smuggling and transportation of liquor, he said. Since the lockdown came into force in late March, at least 4,829 offences have been registered for illegal liquor transportation and 438 vehicles seized, he said.
Besides, at least 2,104 persons have been arrested so far in such cases, the official said, adding liquor and other material worth Rs 12.63 crore have been seized since the shutdown. The excise department has started a control room, where people can provide information related to illegal manufacturing or sale of liquor, he said.