3 kingpins of spirit smuggling gang arrested

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Thiruvananthapuram, Jul 17(UNI) In a major breakthrough, Kerala police arrested three kingpins of an inter-state spirit smuggling gang who were the main accused in the Walayar spirit case, Kerala Home Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan disclosed here today.

Addressing a press conference, he said this was for the first time in the history of the State that the police had busted such a big spirit gang and seized about 35,000 litre spirit and six lorries.

Mr Balakrishnan said a 14-member special team, led by Palakkad district Police Superintendent Vijay Sakhara, who investigated the Walayar case, had arrested 35 people, including the main spirit suppliers Ramesh, Santhosh, Mahesh, Sheen and Sambath.

Mr Balakrishnan said the six main accused were arrested but another one named Nagaraj, a native of Karnataka, was absconding.

He said a five-member gang, including three from Karnatka, had spread a network in Maharashtra, Goa, Madhdya Pradesh and South India.

On January eight, the Excise officials seized 8,540 litres spirit concealed under cement bags.

The special team was constituted under the Inter-State Illicit Spirit Movement Investigation Team (ISIMIT) led by IG Harinath Mishra, he added.

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