Sleuths from the Uttan coastal police station near Bhayandar raided a restaurant and bar for allegedly serving nicotine and tobacco laced products inside its hookah enclosure late on Sunday night. Following information about use of nicotine and tobacco laced hookah being served at Hotel Mid Town located in the Dongri area of Uttan, a team under the instructions of police inspector Amar Marathe swooped down on the establishment at around 11:55 pm and seized hookah pipes, pots and tobacco-laced smoking material from the spot.
Bar owner taken into custody
The owner of the bar-cum-hookah joint identified as Simarjeet Singh Chaddha, 31, and waiter Jogendra Saav, 20, were taken into custody and booked under the relevant sections of the Prohibition Act and provision of the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (prohibition of advertisement and regulation of trade and commerce, production, supply and distribution) Act, COTPA- 2003. Six soliciting customers were also rounded up during the raid. Further investigations were underway.
Notably the hotel was recently raided for selling liquor and serving hookah to customers on May 1 - a statutory dry day to mark the Labour Day, when the sale of any type of liquor is not permitted in the state.
Scores of illegal joints and bars have transformed into vice dens by operating in the twin-city under the garb of serving herbal tobacco-free hookah.