The crime branch unit of the Mira Bhayandar-Vasai Virar (MBVV) police seized banned guthka products worth more than Rs.15 lakh after they intercepted a truck near Hotel Fountain on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway in Kashimira on Friday. While the police team arrested two people including the driver-Salman Hussain Pathan (26) and the cleaner of the truck identified as Isar Ali (35), investigations were on to nab the actual racketeers. Acting on a tip-off about the illegal transport of gutkha, the team laid a trap and intercepted the truck.
Upon searching, the police found multiple gunny bags and boxes stashed with hundreds of pan-masala and scented tobacco product sachets of various brands. The value of the seized consignment is said to be more than Rs.15 lakh. The truck worth Rs. 25 lakh was also impounded. Belonging to a logistic firm the truck was headed to Wadala in Mumbai from Surat in Gujarat, police said. An offence under the relevant sections of the IPC and Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restriction on Sales) Act, 2011 has been registered in this context at the Kashimira police station.
The owner of the truck and transporter have also been named as accused in the FIR. Although the sale of banned guthka products continues unabated, a strong syndicate of the notorious smugglers brazenly operate a well-oiled distribution network in Mumbai and adjoining cities in the MMR region, even as the Food and Drug Authority continues to play blind to the illegalities. Further investigations were underway.
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