In a continuous crackdown on the hoarding or overpricing of hand sanitisers and masks, both 2-ply and 3-ply, different teams of the city crime branch police have seized these recently declared essential commodities in three such operations, collectively valued at Rs 1.04 crore. Police also made 10 arrests in these cases and booked them under relevant sections of the law.
In the first incident, senior inspector Sunil Mane of crime branch unit 10 received a tip off that a few people were hoarding 3-ply masks and were selling them at an overpriced rate of Rs 25 per piece, when the government has capped its price at not more than Rs 10. Acting on this information, police raided Baiganwadi in Govandi and seized their products. During investigation, it was revealed that apart from selling them at an overpriced rate, they were also hoarding the masks. The police seized two tempos where 3-ply masks were stashed away. In total, unit 10 officials seized 2,97,800 masks worth Rs 74.9 lakhs, and arrested four people, including a woman.
During the raid, senior inspector Mane received another tip off about a similar operation at Dharavi and informed the officials of unit 11. They raided three go downs in the area with 2,800 bottles of 100ml hand sanitisers sold at Rs 150 (the government had capped its rate at Rs 50) along with 420 bottles of 50ml hand sanitisers worth Rs 4.51 lakh. Additionally, the police also seized 1,51,600 3-ply masks worth Rs 22.74 lakh from the three godowns and arrested five men.
In the third raid, the police arrested a 32-year-old man from Kurar Village in Malad (E), acting on a tip-off that he was selling hand sanitisers at an overpriced rate. Police raided a medical store, where they seized 614 bottles worth Rs 2.23 lakh. All the accused were arrested and booked under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code and Essential Commodities Act.