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Spurious liquor racket: Election managers, excise officers under CID probe

The State Excise Department had seized some consignments of spurious liquor and booked several cases during the elections.

Written by Sreenivas Janyala | Hyderabad | Published: November 2, 2014 5:21:10 pm

The involvement of election managers of several political leaders in a spurious liquor racket is being investigated after a CID investigation
found that campaign agents had placed orders for several truckloads of spurious and cheap liquor to be distributed to voters in Kadapa,
Chittor, Anantapur, Nellore, Prakasam and Guntur districts during the general and local body elections in April and May this year.

The State Excise Department had seized some consignments of spurious liquor and booked several cases during the elections. However, they were unable to trace the origin of the cartons of liquor as they had changed several hands before being smuggled into Andhra Pradesh.

“In order to know the source of the non-duty paid cheap liquor and to catch the main suppliers, the Andhra Pradesh Government had ordered a
CID inquiry and the all the spurious liquor cases were transferred from Excise Department to CID. The CID took over 32 such cases and
during the investigation found that the cheap liquor originated in Goa and was transported through Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Pondicherry into AP by interstate bootleggers operating in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

The consignments changed hands several times and truck drivers also changed frequently,’’ an official said. A Special Investigation Team of CID arrested Rajendra Nirmal Kumar of Bengaluru, who they claim is the kingpin of interstate liquor suppliers, and works on commission basis. Kumar confessed to having sent 10 truck loads of spurious liquor and was helped in procuring and transporting it from Goa by Krishna Swamy of Chennai and Parthasaradhi Suresh of Pondicherry.

Kumar claimed that the liquor was ordered by agents of political parties during the elections. Kumar was produced before a court in
Nellore on Friday and remanded into police custody.

“Kumar is involved in 10 out of 11 cases of Nellore district. He also admitted that the spurious liquor was manufactured in certain distilleries
located in Goa. He conspired with suppliers and commission agents in Chennai and Pondicherry and supplied truckloads of illicit liquor to
political leaders in AP during elections,’’ an official said.

The CID unit at Tirupati also arrested E Vijay Kumar, a Prohibition and Excise Department sub-inspector posted at Chittor, and Govind
Sankaraiah, a retired Excise Department Head Constable, and a bootlegger B Srinivasulu Reddy of Rayachoti, Kadapa district.

The Excise officials connived with the main suppliers and also helped the bootlegger B Srinivasulu Reddy procure two truckloads of liquor, each
truck carrying 600 cartons, from Goa and Bengaluru which was distributed through liquor shops in Rayachoti in Kadapa. The Election
Commission had declared that 1.44 crore litres of liquor was seized in undivided Andhra Pradesh during the elections.

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