Over 20,000 island-wide raids during last six months – Excise Dept.

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The Excise Department has conducted 24,150 raids throughout the country during the first six months of this year under its program to minimize life risks through the elimination of illicit liquor.

These raids have been carried out under the charges of brewing illicit liquor, possession of such liquor, possession of illegally distilled spirits, possession of distillery equipment, sale of illicit liquor and illegal sale of foreign liquor, says Excise Commissioner General H.G. Sumanasinghe.

The overall raids conducted in 2018 were 49,312. The revenue of Rs 253 million as fines received from the penalty of the raids conducted by the Excise Department has been credited to the relevant Provincial Council.

Thus the Excise revenue has also been on the increase since 2014. It was recorded as Rs.69 billion in 2014.

The excise revenue target in 2019 is Rs.130 billion but it has already reached up to Rs.68 billion at the end of July this year.

The Excise Department which strives to minimize illicit liquor is intending to eliminate life risk of the people who may be exposed to illicit liquor. It has set up 56 branch offices throughout the island in this regard. More than 1,200 officers have been serving in these branch offices.

The Department has established five special operation units which are empowered to carry out raids in any part of the country to control illicit liquor and for prevention of narcotic.

The officers attached to these special units have the authority to conduct special operations in any part of the island and their main task is to subjugate illegal liquor rackets.

These officers specifically obtain public cooperation in this regard and also deploy decoys in such operations.