In a joint operation with their Odisha counterparts, the Andhra Pradesh Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) have seized 300 litres of illicit liquor and destroyed over 30,000 litres of fermented jaggery wash.
Four persons were arrested and two cases were registered for processing illicit distilled liquor. 45 police officers from the Excise and Police Department of Andhra's SEB and a 40-member team from Odisha participated in the joint operation.
The raids took place in Ganjam district of Odisha and Srikakulam of Andhra Pradesh along the state borders on Wednesday, according to officials.
SEB Commissioner Vineet Brijlal said that the joint operation is the second one and that there will be frequent raids in areas prone to illicit liquor production on the borders.
The SEB, from May 16 to June 25, has registered 16,780 cases while arresting 22,435 persons for smuggling of liquor, processing illicit distilled liquor and ganja peddling.
88,937 litres of illicit distilled liquor was seized, besides 60,177 kg of jaggery while destroying 15,57,997 litres of fermented jaggery wash.
According to officials, illicit liquor makers are trying to encash the increased price of the duty paid on liquor in the state.
As much as 97,284 litres of duty paid and non-duty paid Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) were seized while 5,462 litres of beer were also seized.
Speaking to TNM on the raids and vigilance on liquor-related crimes, SEB Commissioner Vineet Brijlal said, “The raids that are happening are giving good results. The amount of liquor we have seized in the last two months is five times higher than the average seizures which we have done earlier.”
He added, “We are stepping up to complete eradication of illicit distilled liquor brewing while working out a three-fold objective to prohibit liquor in the state.”
Most of the smuggled illegal liquor was routed from neighbouring Telangana, officials said, adding that the rise in liquor prices and fewer outlets has led to smugglers exploiting the situation.
According to the SEB Commissioner Krishna district, which shares borders with Telangana's Suryapet and Madhira has recorded the highest cases of liquor smuggling, illicit liquor brewing.
Krishna district police are arranging employment opportunities and providing counselling to families affected by illicit liquor brewing under the 'Spandana Parivartana' programme.