Mira Bhayandar police confiscated two tempos for ferrying banned gutkha products at a highway checkpoint in Kashimira on Monday.
“After noticing that all vehicles were being checked ahead, both the tempo drivers hastily took a U-turn and tried to escape. However they were spotted by our police personnel who swiftly chased them down.” said Senior Police Inspector, Sanjay Hazare.
Upon searching, the police found multiple gunny bags stashe+d with tobacco laced guthka sachets of various brands in both the tempos. While the market value of the seized consignment has been pegged at more than Rs. 4.20 lakh, the tempos worth around Rs. 6 lakh have also been impounded, the official said.
The accused drivers identified as Vinay Vishwanath Singh (26) and Rameshwar Rustom Shinde (28), were taken into custody and booked under the relevant sections of the IPC and regulations of the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulations.
However, source and destination of the banned consignment is yet to be ascertained as suppliers and buyers who are the actual beneficiaries of the illegal trade are still at large, the official informed.
The racket involved in smuggling of banned products into Mumbai and Thane from neighboring states continues unabated, even as officials from the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) continue to remain in deep slumber. Further investigations were underway, the police said.