With the detection of another deadly ‘artificial toddy’ manufacturing plant in Dummalasuriya by a special police flying squad on Sunday, the social activists fighting against hazardous liquor products blamed the Excise Department for not regulating the law properly.
Police Walana – Panadura Central Anti-Vice Striking Unit sleuths on information raided a poultry feed manufacturing factory in Weerakodiyana area in Dummalasuriya on Sunday early morning and seized a secret ‘artificial toddy’ brewing plant within the premises.
The police seized over 36,000 litres of chemically enhanced toddy from the secret location and arrested a man who had worked there. They also recovered 47 sacks each containing 50 Kilos of sugar, three polythene sacks each containing 25 Kilos of Ammonia and 100 packets of Yeast, the police sources said.
Preliminary investigations revealed the secret location had been producing chemically or rather artificially enhanced toddy to be delivered to a toddy collection centre of a private liquor manufacturing company in the area.
Responding to this latest detection, Nawa Sinhala Ravaya Organisation expressed its grave concerns over the lethargic attitude of the Excise Department for not taking stern action against such instances.
The organisation’s General Secretary Magalkande Sudaththa Thero, who is renowned for being vociferous against the illicit liquor industry, had blamed the Excise Department for merely issuing ‘spot fines’ or ‘settlement fees’ on this kind of detections and not serious action.
The Thero pointed out that the Excise is taking these unlawful activities as ‘Technical Crimes’ and issuing trivial spot fines without taking action to cease such illegal operations once and for all.
When contacted, Excise Department Spokesman Deputy Commissioner Kapila Kumarasinghe told the Daily Mirror yesterday that they cannot agree on such vague allegations of not taking suitable action, as the nature of such crimes differs from case to case.
The seized spirits and the suspect were handed over to the Dummalasuriya Police for further inquiries. (Kurulu Koojana Kariyakarawana)