Jaffna bound illicit liquor seized
[TamilNet, Saturday, 12 September 1998, 15:42 GMT]
Officials of Sri Lankan Excise department seized 166 cases of illicit liquor when they raided the Mercs Wadduwa, a cargo ship that was about to set sail to Jaffna today.
They said that there were more cases in the ship which could not be seized as a lot of Jaffna bound cargo had been loaded on top of them.
The Excise Dept. has ordered the other cases with the hooch be seized on the ship's arrival in Jaffna.
The officials said that the bottles with the illicit brew had been neatly labelled as Mendis Arrack.
They said that there is a massive racket in the shipping of illegal arrack under popular brand names to Jaffna.
Informed sources said that the arrack is made by blending neutral spirits which are imported under special government license by powerful businessmen in Colombo ostensibly for the purpose of making surgical spirit and eau de cologne.
The taste of these spirits, when blended with water and coloured with caramel, could easily be mistaken by topers for the original but are very harmful to health. Labels of popular brands of arracks are forged they said.
An Excise department official said that the profits are phenomenal in this racket.