A total of 5,140 litres of spirit has been seized by the Excise Department in five separate incidents in Kollam district in January, 2010.
Assistant Excise Commissioner, Kollam, K. Suresh Babu said 5,140 litres were seized from various areas up to January 25. He said three persons were arrested in connection with the seizures. Four vehicles � two cars, a mini-lorry and a tempo trax van � have been taken into custody. He said these vehicles had entered the district through Tamil Nadu.
While three seizures were made at the Aryankavu check-post, one vehicle was intercepted at Thrikadavur on the outskirts of Kollam city. He said the special drive launched by the Department against spirit smuggling during Christmas-New Year was being carried forward.
The border patrol unit of the department, which operates round the clock, is maintaining special vigil on the Aryankavu-Thenmala road, Achenkovil-Alimukku Road and other forest routes. Checking and vigil in the border areas have been stepped up, Mr. Suresh Babu said.
On Monday, the Excise Enforcement Special Squad led by Circle Inspector P.K. Sanu seized 528 litres of spirit from two cars parked in the courtyard of a house at Thrikadavur. The spirit was found stored in 16 cans of 35-litre capacity each. The owner of the cars, Baiju Ratnakaran, has been arrested.
Mr. Babu said Baiju is facing an Excise case charged by the Ezhukone Excise Range under the Abkari Act for allegedly bootlegging 350 litres of spirit some time back. He has confessed to the Excise personnel that the spirit seized on Monday was brought from Coimbatore and kept for retail sales.
Earlier on January 4, in a joint operation with the Forest Department, Excise personnel seized 384 litres of spirit from a forest area near Aryankavu. About 420 litres of spirit was seized from a vehicle at the Aryankavu check-post on January 7. The Excise team was led by Circle Inspector K.S. Sivamohanan Pillai. One Babu Shanmukan from Palakkad who was driving the vehicle was arrested.
A major seizure of 3,808 litres of spirit was made on January 16 from a mini-lorry at Aryankavu. The spirit stored in 35-lite cans was concealed under a consignment of coconuts. The lorry driver Vinod was arrested.