Hotelier held with gutkha worth Rs 7.15 lakh

Panvel: The central unit of Crime Branch of Navi Mumbai police arrested a 33-year-old hotelier and seized gutkha worth Rs 7.15 lakh on Wednesday from a hotel in Rabale MIDC area. The accused is suspected to be the supplier of gutkha in a nearby area. He had stored the contraband in a hotel in Rabale MIDC area.

Sell of gutkha is banned in the state, and other tobacco products banned after the outbreak of coronavirus.

Based on a tip-off received from sources, the central unit of Crime Branch carried out a raid at Ishita hotel located in Sai Nagar in Rabale MIDC on June 24. During the raid, the crime branch sleuth found the contraband in a godown of the hotel.

The accused, identified as Keraram Ruparam Chaudhary, is a resident of Sainagar in Rabale and a native of Rajasthan. NB Kolahtkar, a senior police inspector from the Central Unit of Crime Branch, said that Chaudhary has a hotel business and he has a grocery shop.

According to police, the seized contraband is worth Rs 7.15 lakh. “We are investigating how did he get such a huge amount of gutkha and to whom he was supposed to supply,” said another official from the crime branch.

Chaudhary arrested under sections 188, 272, 273, and 328 of IPC and section 3 of the Disaster Management act. He will be presented before court on Thursday.

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