A large stock of local and foreign liquor sold without any licenses at three different parties organised in hotels in Galle and Moratuwa to celebrate the world lover’s day was seized by the Excise Department on Sunday.
Excise Department’s flying squad Excise Bureau of Special Operations Colombo (BSO) on information raided three Valentine’s Day parties held in hotels in Unawatuna, Moratuwa and Boralesgamuwa and seized liquor worth over Rs.1 million.
Departmental spokesman- Excise Commissioner Kapila Kumarasinghe told the Daily Mirror the sleuths had managed to send decoys to these parties, which had been organised through social media platforms such as the Facebook.
The sleuths first raided a hotel in Unawatuna, where the party had commenced on the previous day evening (February 13th) to mark the dawning of the lover’s day and arrested a person who had served and sold booze to a couple sent as decoy by the team.
A male and female Excise Officers had been sent in as decoys to the party, apprehend the sellers who had sold liquor to the guests for very high rates.
A senior official of the raiding team told the Daily Mirror, each of those places had crowds about 100 to 200 and the tickets had been priced at Rs.2, 000 to Rs.3, 000 with the benefit of ladies to walk-in free.
Amongst the seized liquor amounting to 49,300 millilitres were a range of beers and wines, imported whiskey, brandy, gin, vodka and some of the local spirits as well.
OIC Excise BSO Chief Inspector Primesh Fernando with Excise Inspectors M W Sumith Premakumara, H G P Ranaweera, H D D Kumara and K G Warnathilaka and the team are conducting inquiries on the instructions of Excise Commissioner General M J Gunasiri and Excise Superintendent Channa Weerakkody.
Altogether, three suspects had been arrested from the three different venues and they were from Unawatuna, Anuradhapura and Nugegoda. The suspects will be produced respectively in Galle, Moratuwa and Mount Lavinia Magistrate’s Courts. (KURULU KOOJANA KARIYAKARAWANA)