The newly constituted Special Enforcement Bureau in Andhra Pradesh has booked 7,200 persons on charge of involvement in smuggling of liquor and sand in just 15 days, a senior officer said on Saturday.
Bureau Commissioner and IPS officer Vineet Brijlal said: "For the first time ever, integration of various law enforcement departments dealing with excise laws is taking place at the cutting-edge level. A mega drive to crack down on illegal businesses of sand, liquor and other banned substances has been launched. No person involved in such activities will be spared at any cost."
"The statistics of the first 15 days reflect the seriousness with which Bureau SPs -- who are our captains on ground -- are dealing with this issue," he added.
Brijlal said that 6,245 people were held in connection with trade in illicit liquor, and 955 for illegal trade in sand.
A total of 27,520.5 litres of illicit liquor, 3,280.7 litres of IMFL (duty paid liquor), 256.4 litres of beer, 12,679.24 litres of IMFL (NDPL), 663.7 kg ganja, 119 litres of toddy, 1,648 vehicles, and raw material used in manufacturing illicit liquor were seized between May 16 and 30.
So far, 485 cases were registered against sand mafia, and 730 vehicles and 29,629.07 tonnes of sand seized during the period.
Earlier this month, the state government led by Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had said that the Special Enforcement Bureau was constituted to deal with illicit liquor, witih special focus on districts bordering neighbouring states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Odisha and Telangana.
The state at the time, also announced that it had decided to reduce the number of retail liquor outlets, by a further 13 percent, to 2,934 by May-end to curtail alcohol consumption and help people "move towards a better life."