Army hotel raided for operating without liquor licence


Excise Superintendent Channa Weerakkody (second from left ) and Inspector M.Jayantha de Silva (fourth from left ) with some members of the raiding party with part of the consignment of liquor seized.

Hotel staff preparing the bill . (Pictures courtesy Excise Department )

By Harischandra Gunaratna

The officers attached to the Kalutara Excise office on Saturday afternoon raided Laya Beach Hotel run by the Sri Lanka Army for operating without a liquor licence and seized 843 bottles of liquor which included 354 bottles of arrack, 112 bottles of brandy, 42 bottles of whisky, 78 bottles of gin and 53 bottles of rum (all locally manufactured) .

204 bottles of local beer were also seized.

Excise Inspector Jayantha de Silva, spokesman for the Excise department said the hotel which was owned and managed by the Army had been operating without a liquor licence for some time and the fee for a three star category to which the particular holiday resort belonged cost Rs. 500,000 per annum.

Inspector de Silva said: "Two decoys were sent prior to the raid and while they were purchasing two bottles of beer, the hotel was raided."

Two suspects were taken into custody and released on excise bail.

They would be produced before the Panadura Magistrate on a later date, he said.

The raid was conducted by a team of officers led by Asst. Commissioner of Excise, Kalutara, J. Pushpakumaara de Silva with Excise Commissioner Channa Weerakkody, assisted by Panadura Excise OIC D.L.M.P. Pathmakumara and Inspectors M. Jayantha de Silva, S.W.R. Chinthaka and J.D.T.U. Jayawardena on the instructions of Commissioner General of Excise L.K.G. Gunawardena.

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