On Saturday night, a Chennai city-1 detachment of DVAC conducted a surprise check at an elite Tasmac shop at Shanthi Colony in Anna Nagar. The check went on from 10pm to 5.30am on Sunday and officials seized ₹69,180 from the shop.
This was collected as an excess amount from customers over and above the maximum retail price (MRP) of the liquor bottles. DVAC conducted a detailed search of the stock and sales details. To strengthen the case, the agency seized details of credit and debit card transactions which confirmed the collection of the excess amount from customers.
DVAC sources said this particular elite shop had 520 brands of liquor stocked up. The MRP of the priciest liquor in the shop was ₹21,000. “During investigation, we found that additional amounts of ₹10-₹100 was being collected from customers based on the MRP of the liquor bought,” an official said.
The additional amount of ₹69,100 could well be the collection of a few hours alone as there is a chance that the amount earned earlier in the day would have been sent out, the DVAC source said. Weekend sales are usually higher at Tasmac shops.
Three days ago, DVAC had registered a case against S Ravi, the district manager of Tasmac, Chennai south, and the supervisors of Tasmac shops in Velachery (two) and Mylapore.
This was based on information that officials in the Chennai south office of Tasmac were indulging in ‘high level of corruption’ by collecting bribes from retail Tasmac shops through shop supervisors by favouring them during ‘surprise inspections’.
During inspections, the supervisors would turn a blind eye to the sale of liquor at prices higher than the MRP fixed by the government, DVAC said.
DVAC also received information that breweries were approaching Tasmac officials to coax a higher offtake from their companies by giving bribes.
During a surprise check conducted by DVAC at the Tasmac Chennai south’s office on November 1, they found ₹52,600 unaccounted cash, including some from representatives of liquor companies who were present there.
“Such bribery is rampant across the state. We have received complaints about overcharging,” a DVAC official said, indicating that more such surprise checks were likely.