Excise officials seize 8500 litres of spirit from paint company in Kochi

wo men were taken into custody in connection with the matter.

Screengrab: Mathrubhumi News

Kochi: Excise officials seized around 8500 litres of spirit hidden in an underground storage pit of a paint company at Edayar here on Thursday. The spirit was stored in more than 200 cans in the underground pit. Two men were taken into custody in connection with the case. The Excise officials informed that the company owner, Kaloor native Kurian who is absconding is a key member of the spirit smuggling racket. The search to track down Kurian has been strengthened.

Spirit was smuggled extensively to the company based in Edayar on the pretence of paint manufacturing. The Excise officials have found out that the spirit was being smuggled from Goa.

The Excise department started an investigation about the spirit lobby functioning in Ernakulam and Idukki districts a while back. But they could not find the source of the spirit. When the investigation was at a standstill, they received a tip-off that a vehicle carrying spirit is heading from Ernakulam to Idukki. Later, the officials tracked the vehicle and seized 1000 litres of spirit from it. Two people in the vehicle were taken into custody and questioned following which the department received information about the spirit collection unit at Edayar. The Excise team soon rushed to the company and started the raid.

The Excise team stated that they have reason to believe that spirit was being smuggled to various parts of the district including toddy shops. Certain stickers of foreign liquor brands were also recovered during the raid. The Excise team also said that it is doubted whether they were manufacturing illegal liquor using the spirit in the company.

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