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Liquor hauls take shine off freebies


Chief electoral officer Kunal on Wednesday said the excise and commercial tax departments are reporting more hauls of liquor and goods that could be used to lure voters during the upcoming assembly polls.
He said that close to Rs 10 lakh worth of liquor was seized by excise officials in both the districts on January 25 with Rs 4 lakh worth of liquor being seized at Porvorim and remaining from Canacona.
In Porvorim, a truck carrying 12,000 litres of liquor was found while in Cancona two trucks were discovered.
All the vehicles were carrying the liquor without permits.
Furthermore three trucks transporting 1,100 bags of gutkha was detained at the Keri border by the commercial tax department.
“The Election Commission will be focusing on increased surveillance over movement of goods during the next eight days in view of the increased catches reported by the excise and commercial tax departments,” Kunal said.
He added that enquiry is going on the goods already seized by the commercial tax department recently to “ensure that they are not used as freebies to lure voters”.
He told reporters that while goods and liquor has been seized there have been no instances of seizure of money as yet or any complaints of money distributed by candidates
“Around 40 units of the CRPF have arrived but they have not found any movement of money,” he said.
“The demonetisation and better surveillance has curtailed the use of money to woo voters,” Kunal said.
Over the last two-three days, pressure cookers, sewing machines, water heaters have been seized by the commercial tax department along with two-wheelers.
About 80 two-wheelers – 40 scooters and motorcycles – were seized on Tuesday.
Of the 217 vehicles that entered Goa recently, 51 vehicles came in without prior permission. They had not intimated the commercial tax department about the consignment to be carried thereby flouting the latest circular of the department.
Goods seized from the trucks have been deposited with the returning officers of respective constituencies until the enquiry is completed.

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