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The Marina Beach, the iconic landmark and one of the major tourist spots in Chennai, has come under the scanner after a gang was busted by the city police for burying illicit liquor and selling them to the public.
The ever-buzzing shore is occupied by walkers, fitness enthusiasts and other general public but after sun down, it is often regarded as a “scary place” due to alleged anti-social activities. On the morning of May 15, based on a tip-off, a team of police officials attached to the D-5 Marina police station visited the area behind the Kannagi statue and found illicit liquor hidden under the sand.
The police initially arrested three women – Geethus Boslaya (30), Sunandha Boose (65) and Shilpa Saindass Bosley (29) — of Amaravathi Bharath Nagar, Maharashtra, in connection with the incident. During the inquiry, the accused revealed their hiding spots and the police dug out the area and found 40 litre of illicit liquor.
On May 17, the police once again inspected the area and found another man identified as Vishal Vinodh Pawar (19) indulging in this illegal business. When the police asked, the man revealed that he too hails from Maharashtra. The police recovered 20 litre of illicit liquor from him. All the accused have been booked under several sections of the Tamil Nadu Prohibition Act.
An official attached to the Marina police said, “All of them hail from Maharashtra and used to stay at the Marina beach. They identified themselves as vagrants. They used to come mostly in trains to Chennai Central or Egmore railway station and then from there take any transport like a share auto or a bus to reach Marina. They used to bring cans with them and if someone inquired about them, they used to tell them that it is drinking water. After reaching Marina, the gang used to transfer the liquor to plastic bottles, the ones that are thrown away by the public or gather them from the dustbins. After filling the bottles, they used to hide them under the sand,” the officer said.
The police added that the gang members used to reach Sulurpetta in Andhra Pradesh to procure illicit liquor. The samples of the illicit liquor have been sent to the forensic lab for testing.
“They normally used juice and other bottles that are found on the beach. We got information that some of the bottles that are thrown away near the Kannagi Statue have a pungent smell. Soon, our officers visited the spot and found out about the gang. These people used to sell this illicit liquor at Rs 40 per bottle. They target fishermen and daily wage workers who used to sleep on the beach. The workers bought this liquor as it is cheaper than the alcohol sold at the TASMAC shops. Based on the orders of the higher authorities, we have deployed a patrol vehicle to ensure that no such activities take place in the future,” the official added.
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