Kerala Kaumudi Online
Thursday, 07 December 2023 10.24 PM IST

Massive irregularities found in vigilance raid: Unaccounted liquor found in excise range office


THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Vigilance raids in 75 offices, including those of excise divisions, under the name 'Operation Cocktail', have uncovered widespread irregularities. It was found that excise officials were not complying with the order to inspect toddy shops and bars at regular intervals. Officials from the range offices of Karthikapally and Cherthala in Alappuzha, Erattupetta, Ettumanoor, Kanjirappally, Chittoor and Kalpetta were found not to be conducting inspections.

Excise circle inspectors are also not complying with the order that liquor should be unloaded at bars from Bevco godowns only in the presence of excise officials. At the bars in Cherthala, Chittoor, Palakkad and Irinjalakuda office limits, liquor is unloaded without the presence of excise officials. It was also found that in the Changanassery Excise Circle Inspector office, offences like smoking in public places are not being penalized and that the offenders were asked to reach the office with a higher amount than the fine.

Ten bottles of foreign liquor were found in the restroom of the Iritty range office and ten packets of liquor not involved in the Abkari case and sold only in Karnataka were found in Kasaragod Badiyadka range office. Six vehicles in evidence at the Kumbla Range Office and one vehicle at the Vadakara Circle Office were found to have lost their batteries. Driver in the Kollam Deputy Commissioner's office receiving 1.15 lakh rupees via Google Pay will also be investigated.

75 offices including 14 excise divisions, 16 circle offices and 45 range offices were raided. The raid was based on information received by the vigilance that excise officers were being bribed to avoid inspection at toddy shops and bars and some officials were conniving with toddy shops and bars operating against the rules. Vigilance Director TK Vinodkumar informed that the inspection will continue to make the functioning of excise offices transparent and eliminate corruption and that a report will be submitted to the government about the irregularities found in the lightning inspection.

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