Liquor Smuggling Thrives At Odisha-Andhra Border Despite Checks

Bhubaneswar: Help thy neighbour. Both Odisha and Andhra Pradesh (AP) seem to have taken the adage seriously because liquor smuggling continues unabated at the Andhra-Odisha Border (AOB) despite strict checks on the AP side. In fact, the smuggling of liquor from Odisha has become a lucrative business in AP. Between 100 to 150 liquor bottles smuggled in from Odisha have been seized in Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts of AP, in the past few weeks.

Tipplers in these two districts have been procuring different brands from Odisha and selling them in Andhra Pradesh, Times of India (TOI) reported. Though the AP government set up the Special Enforcement Bureau (SEB) and check posts along AOB to stop the inflow of liquor into the state, a number of organised rackets continue to operate.

But this is only the tip of the iceberg, as the major haul of liquor smuggled in from Odisha goes undetected in the region, the report added.

“We are now focusing on some of the interior village routes that are connected to Odisha as liquor smugglers are now taking interior roads instead of highway to evade the police radar,” a senior officer was quoted as telling TOI.

“Since the organised gangs have been getting good profits by selling Odisha origin liquor in the state, they continue the trade in spite of arrests of bootleggers and seizure and destruction of the liquor. We are chalking out some more strategies to check the illegal trade,” officials were quoted as saying.
Apart from this, on average, officials of SEB and police seize at least 200 to 300 litres of hooch, besides destroying the fermented jaggery wash used for brewing the substance in the two districts. Brewing hooch along the AOB has resumed, with many adopting innovative methods to transport the drink to villages and towns in the two districts where they are sold at high prices, TOI reported.

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