Prohibition in Bihar creates bonanza for moonshiners

- Abdesh Kumar Jha, MORANG

Apr 21, 2016-

Prohibition in India’s Bihar state has created an opportunity for smugglers and producers of illegal liquor at Nepal-India border points. Bihar imposed a complete ban on the consumption and distribution of alcohol on April 1.

Local traders said that after Bihar police started arresting people involved in making alcohol, there was a jump in the production of low-quality moonshine on the Nepal side of the border. The products are smuggled to India too. 

Alcohol sales have leapt threefold in the past week since prohibition was announced. According to reports, the crackdown has resulted in a bonanza for Nepali traders who have jacked up prices of local alcohol.

After the ban, there has been a dramatic rise in the number of people crossing the border into Nepal to have a drink. Border points have flourished with ‘bars’ sprouting all over the place targeting customers from Bihar. Lately, the number of Indian customers coming to Biratnagar from Jogbani has increased drastically, according to local traders. 

At a recent meeting in Forbesganj in Bihar, Indian authorities sought the help of their Nepali counterparts to curb the movement of people into Nepal to buy alcohol. On Tuesday, Morang Police seized a large quantity of illegal home-made alcohol in Biratnagar. The police also destroyed huts and raw materials used to produce alcohol.   

“We have seized raw materials and alcohol from Laxmi Narayan Tol in Biratnagar,” said DSP Yogendra Singh Thapa. Police confiscated 120 litres of alcohol, 3,000 litres of raw materials used to make alcohol, 133 drums, 12 stoves and 57 cooking utensils from the area, said Thapa. 

The confiscated items have been sent to the Inland Revenue office, Biratnagar for further legal action. The police said that a squad had been mobilized in Biratnagar and rural areas of the district to check the production of moonshine.

Published: 21-04-2016 07:50

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