Over 1,900 arrested in excise raids during festive season
During raids conducted in the festive season, the Excise Department
has netted 1,904 suspects in 1,865 raids, while taking into custody
illicit spirits, narcotics, accessories and liquor sold during
prohibited hours worth over Rs. 40 million.
The Excise Department has netted 1,904 suspects in 1,865
raids during the festive season.
During the new year period, Excise sleuths launched special raids
islandwide, taking a stringent approach towards the strict
implementation of legislative provisions, regarding the abuse of excise
rules and regulations.
A special detection week was declared by the Department while the
Government took steps to prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages on
April 12 and 13 to coincide with the Sinhala and Tamil New Year.
According to Excise sources, a total of 1,865 successful raids had
been conducted during April 04-11, with 1,904 suspects being arrested
for abusing the Excise Law.
The Officers had also taken into custody 8,400 litres of illicit
brew, 1,600 bottles of liquor and other related accessories in addition
to busting 142 illegal manufacturing plants during the period. Also 59
cases out of the total relate to the sale of banned drugs such as heroin
and cannabis, Excise sources said.
The raids conducted islandwide under the instructions of Commissioner
General of Excise D.G.M.V. Hapuarachchi with special squads being
deployed in identified hot spots.
According to Excise sources a majority of cases were reported from
the Western Province while the Southern Province was placed second.
They further said heavy penalties would be imposed for licensed
dealers for breaching the law and others would be produced in Courts.
According to sources the heavy fines introduced through the increase
of fines, Act No. 12 of 2005 and the introduction of National Authority
on Tobacco and Alcohol Act.No. 27 of 2006 have given additional leverage
for authorities to stamp down on the abusers of Excise law.
Sri Lanka has taken many steps to discourage the abuse of
alcohol\drugs in the recent times such as members being appointed to the
NATA and also becoming the first country in the region and fourth in the
world to ratify FCTC (Frame work convention on Tobacco control) under
the auspices of WHO in 2005.
According to Excise sources the Commissioner General has given strict
orders to impose the rules without fear or favour with Excise Depots
being established islandwide and special units been deployed in
identified hot spots in line with the Mathata Thitha programme
introduced with the vision of eliminating the menace.