Maharashtra: Banned tobacco items worth over Rs 45L seized; 7 held
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Police have seized gutka and other banned tobacco products worth over Rs 45 lakh during raids in Thane and neighbouring Palghar in Maharashtra and arrested seven persons, officials said on Thursday.

Acting on a tip-off, the anti-narcotics cell of Thane raided a transport company's godown in Bhiwandi on Tuesday and seized four trucks loaded with the banned tobacco products worth Rs 37.55 lakh from there, a police official said.

The banned items were to be transported to Thane, Mumbai, Navi Mumbai and other neighbouring areas surrounding places, he said.

Five persons were arrested and the four trucks were also seized, he added.

In Palghar, the police received inputs that banned gutka and other tobacco items were being smuggled to Mumbai from Ahmedabad through the highway connecting the two cities.

During checking of vehicles on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway, the police intercepted a tempo near Chillar flyover on Tuesday and found various brands of pan masala packets concealed under vegetable bags, a police spokesman said.

The seized items were valued at Rs 8.05 lakh, he said.

The tempo driver and cleaner were arrested, he added.

The sale and consumption of gutka, scented and flavoured tobacco has been banned in Maharashtra since 2012.

In 2018, the state government made sale of gutka a non-bailable offence and enhanced the punishment for it from six months to three years.

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