GUWAHATI, Sept 26 - Struggling to deal with the menace of illegal liquor trade which has continued unabated, the excise commissionerate has asked the district administrations to form flying squads to check smuggling.
�A huge quantity of liquor is being smuggled from Arunachal Pradesh by fraudulent elements including some of the licence holders. It is causing a huge loss of revenue to the State exchequer,� the Excise Commissioner said in a letter to all DCs and SPs.
Their modus operandi includes transportation of non-duty paid beer and IMFL from Arunachal Pradesh and then replacement of the Arunachal labels with fake Assam labels for sale in local market, the letter stated, asking the administrations to constitute flying squads to conduct frequent raids in the premises of retailers and wholesalers to catch fake label products.
The district administrations have also been asked to direct the district excise officials to enhance enforcement. The district excise officials have been also directed to evaluate performances of the officers-in-charge posted at the warehouses and monitor their work properly.
Random raids carried out by different agencies like CID, BIEO and excise over the past one month or so has led to recovery of illegal liquor worth over Rs 50 lakh from various places across the State. Most of the seized illicit liquor was made in Arunachal Pradesh.
The smuggling from Arunachal Pradesh apparently shot up after the Meghalaya government increased the taxes on liquor in June, bringing the prices nearly at par with those in Assam.
There is a huge difference of liquor prices in Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, due to the low taxes in the neighbouring state. In some brands the prices in Arunachal Pradesh are nearly half, making it a lucrative smuggling item.
Meanwhile, the BIEO last night seized over 34 cases of IMFL from one Ajit Barman at Napara, Singimari under Hajo Police Station. He had no licence for liquor trade. Today, excise officials conducted a raid near Bengtol Gate in Chirang and seized over 13 cartons of Bhutan-made liquor.