Over 850 excise raids conducted during Vesak season

Excise Department officials in an effort to prevent excise crimes and misuse of excise permits during the 2018 Vesak Festival Season conducted 850 raids during the period April 27 to 30 and detected 778 excise crimes, Deputy Excise Commissioner and Media spokesman Kapila Kumarasinghe said.

Among them were 26 cases of illegal production of liquor spirits, 191 cases of illegal liquor sales and 395 cases of excessive possession or transport of liquor. The other detections included 22 cases of illegal possession of heroin, 36 cases of illegal possession of ganja, 26 cases of smoking in public places, 24 cases of smuggled foreign cigarettes and 58 cases falling under the NATA act.

The release said 670 suspects arrested during these detections were released on excise bail and legal action would be filed against them in magistrates courts within the next week.A special feature is that an analysis of these crimes shows a marked reduction in such cases in the Northern, Eastern and North Central provinces and escalation in other parts of the country. Only 5 cases of illegal liquor sales were detected in liquor shops with permits.The raids were conducted by several teams of officers under the direction of Excise Commissioner General R. Semasinghe and Deputy Commissioner M.B.Wansuriya