Police step up crackdown on production of bootleg liquor

Kathmandu, June 14

Police have stepped up crackdown on production, sale and distribution of bootleg liquor in Kathmandu.

According to Metropolitan Police Range, Kathmandu, it raided over 150 taverns and illegal brewing outlets in the past one year and confiscated nearly 200,000 litres of hooch while arresting 57 bootleggers.

Police seized around 42,800 litres of bootleg liquors and 9,000 kilograms of raw materials over a period of one week. The hooch was destroyed by digging a pit on the premises of MPR yesterday.

SSP Bishwo Raj Pokharel, MPR in-charge, said the law enforcement agency had launched a massive crackdown on the source of bootleg liquor and taverns selling it. Brewers often use raw materials unfit for human consumption, chemicals and animal body parts to manufacture hooch, he warned.

Production, supply and consumption of hooch is rampant in Kathmandu valley. Police said their crackdown was in response to a request from the Inland Revenue Office and increase in hooch-related crimes and domestic violence. Bootleggers do not pay tax, but supply huge quantities of liquor to the market.

Hooch trade is rife in mainly Bouddha, Swoyambhu, Kalopul, Ratopul, Balaju, Koteshwor and the outskirts of Kathmandu, especially Tinthana, Jorpati, Sundarijal, Bishnu Budhanilkantha, Chapali Bhadrakali and Manamaiju, police said.

Health officials have repeatedly warned people against consuming home-brewed tainted liquor, saying its impact on health could be disastrous. Production, sale and consumption of hooch is rife in urban areas and among people who cannot afford licensed liquor, police investigation shows. Methyl alcohol is often used to spike local brew to increase its potency.

The home ministry has also ordered the police to take action against unauthorised alcohol suppliers.  A study ‘Prevalence and Predictors of Alcohol Consumption among the Squatters of Kathmandu Valley’ by Nepal Health Research Council shows that 39.81 per cent of Nepal’s population consumed alcohol.