Unfazed by the crackdown initiated against them by the police, the notorious gutka mafia not continues to raise its ugly head in the Mira-Bhayandar-Vasai Virar (MBVV) region. Based on a specific tip-off, a police team from the crime branch ( unit III) led by Police Inspector- Pramod Badhak and PSI Shivaji Khade laid a trap on the highway and intercepted a truck near Shirsad Phata in Virar on Wednesday afternoon.
Upon checking, the police personnel found 22 huge gunny bags stashed with tobacco laced gutka sachets of various brands. The market value of the seized consignment has been pegged at more than Rs. 11.43 lakh. The police impounded the truck and arrested the driver identified as Mukesh Singh (50) under the relevant sections of the IPC and regulations of the Food Safety and Standards (Prohibition and Restrictions on Sales) Regulations.
However, the actual benefactress including the truck owner, suppliers and buyers of the banned consignment have remained out of the police dragnet. The racket involved in the 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.