The police conducted a series of surprise raids in several villages in the district from January 8 to 13, seized 4,290 litres of illicit arrack and 10,565 litres of fermented wash and arrested 220 anti-social elements. A total of 221 cases have been booked.
Special teams, under the supervision of the Superintendent of Police, Sandeep Mittal, conducted raids in the black-listed villages of Periyandankoil, Tirukkampuliyur, Viswanathapuri, Pallapalayam, Nanjakalaikurichi, Rajapuram, Thanthoni, Puliyur, Manavasi, Kattalai, Vayalur, Tiruchapur, Manmangalam, Nerur, Velayuthampalayam and Thottakurichi. The teams also seized three mopeds used for transport of the illicit arrack.
The Additional SP (Prohibition Enforcement Wing), P. Jagannathan, the Deputy SP, V. Muthusamy (Karur), and A. Nithiyanandam (Kulithalai), 10 Inspectors, 15 Sub-Inspectors and 100 constables were involved in the raids.
A police release said a record number of 6,286 cases illicit arrack distillation were registered during 2003, and 4,269 men and 1,808 women were taken into custody. As many as 41 notorious distillers, including a dozen women, were booked under the Bootleggers Act.
During this year so far, 312 case of illicit distillation were registered and 308 distillers, including 94 women, arrested. About 7,640 litres of illicit arrack and 13,060 litres of fermented wash were destroyed. Four persons were detained under the Bootleggers Act.
Mr. Sandeep Mittal said the police would conduct surprise raids at regular intervals to put an end to this menace, and warned the illicit distillers of stringent action. The people could pass on information on illicit distillation and sale of arrack to the police over (04324) 227799, 257999, 256106 and 256973, he added.