The anti-narcotics cell (ANC) of the Mira Bhayandar-Vasai Virar (MBVV) police raided a hookah lounge that was operating under the garb of a café in Mira Road on Friday night.
ANC team raided hookah parlor in Mira Road
Following information about use of nicotine and tobacco laced hookah being served at Mehfil Café and Restaurant located in the Mangal Nagar area of Mira Road, the ANC team led by API- Vilas Kute swooped down on the establishment at around 8:55 pm. The police seized hookah pipes, pots, and tobacco-laced smoking material from the spot.
The operator-Pintoo Vijaykumar Maazi of the establishment and waiter-Asif Aalam Shaikh (19) were arrested and booked under the relevant sections of the Cigarettes and other Tobacco Products (prohibition of advertisement and regulation of trade and commerce, production, supply and distribution) Act, COTPA- 2003. Seven soliciting customers-mostly youngsters were slapped with notices.
Local police need to take action
Scores of illegal joints have transformed into vice dens by operating in the twin-city under the garb of serving herbal tobacco-free hookah by obtaining licenses under the shops and establishment act without following any regulations. However, the local police and the food and drugs administration play blind to such illegalities.
Moreover, owing to mild punitive action under the COTPA Act, the hookah mafia remains unfazed by such raids and continues their illegal activities. Some bar and restaurants on the highway were bending Supreme Court guidelines to function as full-fledged hookah joints till the wee hours in Kashimira.
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