Officials crack down on belt shops

Officials crack down on belt shops
Highlights

Following announcement of Chief Minister that there will be crackdown on the belt shops, the prohibition and excise department personnel raided several shops in the district and arrested 24 persons, including four women, during last 24 hours. Cases under various sections were also registered against them.

Visakhapatnam: Following announcement of Chief Minister that there will be crackdown on the belt shops, the prohibition and excise department personnel raided several shops in the district and arrested 24 persons, including four women, during last 24 hours. Cases under various sections were also registered against them.

According to sources nearly 550 to 600 belt shops were running illegally in the district. They are illegal outlets put up by the licence holders to push up the sales. “We have closed more than 90 per cent of these illegal outlets,’’ said a senior excise official.

He said 22 teams have been dispatched and conducted raids at various places in the district. The raiding parties seized 70.39 litres liquor, 87.27 litres of beer from their possession.

One wine shop (No. 161) named as Maridi Mamba, which is located in Paravada village, was (temporarily seized) which has alleged link with belt shops. One of the arrested persons told the excise officials that he was sourcing liquor from this particular shop.

Babji Rao, the assistant commissioner of excise and enforcement, said the department will continue raids on the belt shops till all of them were closed.

He said they booked 175 cases in June, 123 cases in May and the district topped the state in filing cases against the belt shops. “We closed down 99 per cent of belt shops in the district,’’ said deputy commissioner of prohibition and excise Ch Gopala Krishna.

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