Thiruvananthapuram: Just two days into the ‘Onam special drive,’ Excise officials on Sunday laid their hands on 665 litres of spirit which was being smuggled through the district in a car. The spirit was kept in 19 cans each having a capacity of 35 litres on the backseat and in the boot of a Hyundai Santro. The driver escaped on seeing the Excise team and could not be identified.
According to the Thiruvananthapuram Excise Range Office, an Excise team led by Thiruvananthapuram Excise Range inspector S Sudheer grew suspicious after the car failed to stop for an inspection at the Pallichal area. The team gave chase and the car braked to a stop near the Kundamonkadavu temple. By the time Excise officials reached the car, the driver had made good his escape. The driver was alone, Excise officials said. A preliminary enquiry found that the registration number of the car - KL-01 AS 4323 - was fake. The Excise Department has pegged the cost of the spirit and the car at Rs 4 lakh.
An investigation has been launched into the place of origin and intended destination of the spirit. But it is assumed that the consignment was smuggled in from Tamil Nadu.
Just two days into the \'Onam special drive\', Excise officials on Sunday laid their hands on 665 litres of spirit.
This is the first major seizure since the department launched the special drive on July 20 in view of the upcoming Onam celebrations. Check-posts on the borders have been asked to keep an extra vigil and regular inspections of vehicles are planned as part of the drive, officials said.