In 2020, Excise department seized about 23,182 litres of spirit.
Palakkad: The smuggling of intoxicants including spirit and Marijuana has not been reduced in post-COVID Kerala. While a litre of spirit costs around Rs 70 in the state, the same is available for Rs 250-350 in the black market. Authorities have confiscated around 59,436 litres of spirit in the past three years. In the normal market, this costs about Rs 39 lakh, whereas in the black market it amounts up to Rs 1.48 crore.
As per the data, the Excise department seized 3,500 litres of spirit in 2018 and 15,200 litres in 2019. Meanwhile, with the outbreak of the pandemic, the flow of spirit increased to the state and the excise seized 23,182 litres of spirit in 2020. Later in 2021, officials seized 20,803 litres.
Of the 15,451 litres confiscated so far in 2022, Ernakulam accounts for 9,310 litres, followed by Palakkad (4,505 litres) and Thrissur (1,160 litres).
The spirit is being supplied from northern states like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab and Haryana. It is learnt that spirit is being sneaked into the state in containers along with other goods from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
The spirit that gets transported through the checkposts mostly goes unscrutinised. The Excise officials conduct an inspection and seize the spirit only when they got a tip-off on the spirit smuggling.
Officials have to find more efficient methods at the checkposts to crack down the spirit smuggling into the state.