In a prize catch for the newly created Mira Bhayandar-Vasai Virar (MBVV) Police Commissionerate, a huge consignment of banned gutkha products worth more than Rs.49 lakh was seized from a godown in Kashimira on Tuesday evening.
Based on a specific tip-off, a police team led by API Mahendra Bhamre and ASI Rajesh Pansare under the instructions of Senior Police Inspector- Sanjay Hazare swooped down on a godown located in Chena village in Kashimira and apprehended three people who were found to be unloading gunny bags stashed with tobacco laced guthka sachets from a container truck at around 4:30 pm on Tuesday.
In addition to this one pick-up van was also found to be carrying similar gunny bags. The market value of the seized consignment has been pegged at more than Rs. 49 lakh in the local market.
The arrested accused have been identified as- godown owner-Jhafar Husaain Khan (23)- a resident of Mira Road, driver-Sudam Javre (24), and cleaner-Navnath Baarse (24)-both natives of Kurunda village in Hingoli district of Maharashtra. Investigations revealed that the consignment originated from a village bordering Karnataka and the accused attempted transporting it in a container truck to hoodwink the law enforcement agencies.
However, the main beneficiaries including the Pune-based supplier and the consignee who is a trader from Dahisar are still at large. It has been alleged that the quantity and value of the actual consignment was much higher. However, the investigating team termed the charges as baseless as the entire consignment along with both the vehicles valued at around Rs. 60 lakh was impounded.
Meanwhile, an offence under the relevant sections of the IPC and regulations of the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulations has been registered against the trio who have been remanded to custody. The racket involved in smuggling of banned products into Mumbai and Thane from neighboring states continues unabated.