In a crackdown on bootleggers, Kadodara GIDC police have seized Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) worth Rs 8 lakh from a tent in Vareili village, which witnessed 24 ‘hooch deaths’, on Monday afternoon. In a different raid, Surat district police have seized rotten jaggery, a key ingredient for brewing country liquor, worth Rs 19 lakh from a godown in Palsana town of Surat district, on September 28 and sent to FSL in Ahmedabad for testing. Following the positive report from FSL, the police slapped cases against nine traders on Monday for storing them, police said.
Acting on a tip-off, the Kadodara GIDC police on Monday afternoon raided a tent at Vareili village. They found over 12,500 bottles of IMFL worth Rs 8 lakh stacked in gunny bags and kept in a tent made adjacent to a dyeing unit in Vareili village. Investigations revealed that the liquor consignment was owned by Ishwar Vansphoda, a listed bootlegger who is a resident of Palsana. Police have launched a hunt to nab the bootlegger and further probe is on.
Earlier, Surat rural local crime branch had carried out raids on Hitech Frozen Facility Services, at Baleshwar village in Palsana taluka, on September 28. They seized 97,222 kilograms of rotten jaggery worth Rs 19 lakh in the cold storage godown and sealed it. They sent the samples to FSL office at Ahmedabad for testing. On Monday, FSL office at Ahmedabad sent an affirmative report of the samples stating that the seized stock was rotten jaggery.
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On the basis of the FSL report, Palsana police lodged complaint against nine persons, including Mitesh Shah, owner of Hitech Frozen Facility Centre. The eight other accused have been identified as Gautam Gujjar, Thakor Patel, Vinod Ahir, Ishwar Gujjar, Ramesh Patel, Chandraprakash Shah, Mohammed Abdul Wahid and Gautam Kachreliya, all residents of Surat district.
Palsana police inspector N M Prajapati said, “We have started investigation into the seizure of the rotten jaggery and also launched a hunt to trace the accused who are absconding. The rotten jaggery is mainly used in making country-made liquor. Due to the police crack down on the illicit liquor den, there is no demand for the rotten jaggery in the market.”