Ahead of New Year, police seize illicit liquor in Gujarat
Ahmedabad, Dec 24: Ahead of New Year, Gujarat Police have seized illicit liquor worth Rs 19.34 lakh that was smuggled to the Gir Somnath district headquarters in a fishing boat from Union Territory of Daman, police said Monday.
Local crime branch of Gir-Somnath district police raided a fishing boat that had arrived at Veraval harbour, around 400 kms from here, on Sunday morning and seized 10,597 liquor bottles and 2,764 beer cans hidden inside the storage area of the boat, said LCB police inspector B B Koli.
Veraval is the headquarters of Gir Somnath district.
"In total, we have recovered IMFL (Indian Made Foreign Liquor) worth Rs 19.34 lakh and seized the fishing boat worth Rs 20 lakh", he said, adding that a sailor identified as Hari Bandia was arrested during the operation.
Bandia told police that the IMFL was meant to be delivered to a local bootlegger Jitu Agiya, the police inspector said.
The boat to bring IMFL from Daman was hired by Agiya, he said, adding that hunt is on to nab Agiya and his accomplices.
"As per his plan, Agiya had sent the boat to Daman. A bootlegger, named Gafar, loaded the liquor stock in his boat and transferred it to Agiya's boat mid sea near Daman coast", Koli said.
He said the bootleggers took the sea route for smuggling liquor due to heavy police presence on roads and highways in the view of upcoming New Year.
Gujarat has a sumptuary law in force since 1960 that proscribes the manufacture, storage, sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages.