Mumbai Crime Watch:  One held with gutka worth Rs 1.83 lakh in Panvel
File Photo

The Panvel City police have arrested a 34-year-old man and have seized banned gutkha and pan masala worth Rs 1.83 lakh after conducting a raid at his residence in Karanjade on Thursday. The police also seized 8 LED TVs that the accused was using to lure bulk buyers.

The arrested accused identified as Virendra Bhudhsen Gupta resided at Sector 4 in Karanjade in Panvel.

Based on a tip-off, the police conducted a raid on Thursday afternoon at his house and found gutkha and pan masala stocked at his home. Police also found 8 LED TVs at his house which during interrogation the accused revealed that he used to offer them as a bonus to bulk buyers. In addition, the police also seized Rs 50,230 cash and a car worth Rs 4 lakh used to commit the crime. “The total recovery including gutkha and pan masala is around Rs 7.8 lakh,” said Ajay Landge, senior police official from Panvel City Police station. He added that the accused was a wholesaler of the contraband.

Gupta was arrested under section 188, 272, 273, and 328 of IPC and various sections of Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 for stocking contraband and luring buyers.

In the second week of October, the crime branch of Navi Mumbai police arrested four persons and seized banned gurtha and pan masala worth Rs 36 lakh from Rabale. The police also busted a racket that used to supply gutkha in states where it is banned. Later the mastermind of the gutkha supply racket was arrested.

Police commissioner Bipinkumar Singh had cleared that there would be zero tolerance on the sale of gutkha and other banned tobacco products. “It is a focus of Navi Mumbai police to take strict action against illegal trade of contraband. We are working with the Food and Drugs administration to root out the sale of contraband from the city,” he had after joining Navi Mumbai police commissioner.

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