Trivandrum: About 600 litres of good quality wine, worth over Rs. 12 lakhs in the open market, has been seized from a house on the outskirts of the city. The unaccounted wine was kept for serving the guests at a wedding reception. The raid, based on an anonymous tip, was conducted by the Excise Commissioner, RR Singham.
Giving details, the Excise Commissioner said, “The wine was kept in barrels used for storing water. There were six barrels and each barrel can store around 20-30 gallons of water. Taking an average of about 25 gallons each (at least 100 litres per barrel), the quantity of the confiscated wine must be over 600 litres. With good quality wine costing around Rs.1,500 for a 750 ml bottle (Rs. 2,000 per litre), it’s about Rs.12 lakhs worth of wine in today’s market rates.”
“Several cases have been registered under the relevant Kerala Abkari Act and the Winery Rules 1970 for illegal manufacture (brewing) and possession of such large quantity of wine. In Kerala the permissible quantity of wine that can be possessed and carried by a person is 7.8 litres. We are on the lookout for a person named Easow, a trainee carpenter, who is supposed to have made the wine”, he added.
Meanwhile the Chief Minister, who also holds the Home & Police portfolio, and the Excise Minister, has congratulated the raid team on this huge catch.
Reacting to the incident, Finance Minister, TMT Aisack commented, “This is not a ‘Vellarikka Pattanam’ (a city where idiots think anything is possible). Nobody can make and store 600 litres of wine at home and get away with it. In my next budget, I will impose 100% tax on wine. We need to mop up additional revenues in view of demonetisation.”
It may be noted that at present Kerala has 70% tax on Wine + 16% cess, one of the highest in the country.
Meanwhile, Archbishop Susiakapam and Archbishop Climax under the Kerala Catholic Bishops Council (KCBC) have announced 50 days fast in front of the Secretariat demanding a ban on the sale of wine in the State. KPCC President, VM Sudhekarn and noted activist, SD Kumari, are also expected to join the protest. The Madhya Virudha Samithi and the Kerala Madhya Nirodhana Samithy too have announced their support.
For now, the Kerala State Bevarages Corporation (BEVCO) has invited quotations from distilleries in the State to bottle the wine found in the barrels – that’s about 800 bottles considering the fact that wine bottles usually contain 750 ml.
By Anil Philip for
Kerala Booz News
Note / Disclaimer: This is a fake news article based on the ‘Miracle at Cana, John 2: 1-11’, had it happened in present day circumstances in Kerala. All characters mentioned are fictitious and any resemblance to living or dead is purely coincidental. All the figures mentioned are factual though. Photograph for representational purpose only.