Excise department and police in a joint operation raided a house and unearthed an illicit hooch manufacturing unit at a village in MP’s Jhabua district on Wednesday.
Police also arrested kingpin and owner Rajendra Singh Rathore from the spot and seized raw material including huge quantity of spirit and alcohol, holograms, colouring agent worth Rs 8 lakh from the house at Barvete village. A case has been against Rathore under relevant sections of state excise act. Rathore was later produced in the court.
Department officials saw action as a big achievement to rein in manufacturing and transportation of illicit liquor in other districts of Madhya Pradesh as well as neigbouring state Gujarat as Barvete is situated just 40km away from the Gujarat border.
An excise department official, on condition of anonymity, said that they had got information about a person operating illicit liquor manufacturing unit from his house in Barvete village.
Acting promptly on the information, excise department team along with Petlawad police raided Rathore’s house in the village.
“We were shocked to see the unit being operated from such a small house in the area,” the official said.
“From outside, its look like normal house, but as soon as we entered, we saw a large quantity of crude alcohol, spirit and other items. The team seized 25 cases of alcohol including 17 cases of spirit worth Rs 3.6 lakh and enough to manufacture 200 boxes of liquor, along with 270 litre illicit IMFL of worth Rs 1.7 lakh and 774 litre low range country liquor worth Rs 1.6 lakh. Police sized 3,000 hallmarks (of various country-liquor brands), 21 kilogram bottle caps, boxes having imprints of Indian and foreign liquor companies, four empty jute bags and equipment for making the brew along with labels were recovered from the spot,” the official said.
Excise department assistant commissioner Vikram Deep Sagar said the whole exercise has been conducted as per the directives of the district collector.
“We are trying to ascertain whether the holograms which were recovered from the spot are original or fake as if it is original then we need to find out sources from where he got this as well as take action against those who supply this to Rathore,” Sagar said.
The 3,000 holograms that were recovered from the unit are similar to original ones. Holograms also have numbers and it was being sent for technical analysis.