The Maharashtra unit of the National Institute of Social Defence (NISD) helped cops seize banned guthka products worth around ₹13 lakh in Kashimira on Saturday.
Acting on a tip-off about the arrival of vehicles laden with banned guthka products, NISD member-Dr. Harish Shetty informed the police control room following which a truck and a tempo were intercepted in the Vinay Nagar area of Kashimira.
Police suspect banned gutka products were smuggled from Gujarat
Upon checking, the vehicles were found to be laden with multiple gunny bags stashed with hundreds of pan-masala and scented tobacco product sachets of various brands. The value of the consignment is pegged at ₹12.87 lakh. While the consignment was seized and both vehicles impounded, the drivers managed to flee the spot. It is suspected that the banned products were smuggled into the twin-city from Gujarat.
Well-oiled distribution network
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. The NISD is an arm of the central government which operates under the aegis of the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
Meanwhile, 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. Further investigations were underway to track the owner of the vehicles which will help ascertain the source and destination of the consignment, police said.