The illegal trade of used nitrile hand gloves that was busted by Unit 1 of the Crime Branch of Navi Mumbai police has links in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Police have already arrested five persons and seized over 48 tonnes of used hand gloves.
On August 18, Unit 1 had conducted a raid in Pawane, MIDC, on Wednesday and seized 263 bags of used hand gloves that were being cleaned and repacked for sale. One person was arrested then. Following interrogation, the police carried out raids at a godown in Bhiwandi and seized 15 tonnes of used nitrile hand gloves. Police arrested two persons identified as Vipual Shah, a resident of Mulund, and Nizam Shaikh, a resident of Bhiwandi. Following interrogation, they informed that they received the used hand gloves from Aurangabad.
Later, police conducted raids at MIDC Aurangabad and arrested one person identified as Shaikh Afroz and seized 19 tonnes of used hand gloves. A senior official from the crime branch said that the link was then found in Bangalore and Hyderabad, as Afroz said that they received the hand gloves from there. With the help of respective state police, the crime branch officials seized 10 tonnes more of hand gloves on August 23 and arrested one more accused identified as Imam Latif Siddiqui.
During interrogation Siddiqui, the mastermind of the illegal trade, was arrested from Mulund. He was identified as Laxman Das Ramnani. "So far, we have arrested five persons and seized 48 tonnes of hand gloves worth Rs 50 lakh," added the official.
Prashant Ashok Surve, a resident of sector 9 in Belapur, was first arrested in the racket. “During the interrogation of Surve, we came to know that there was a gang behind it. They are playing with the lives of common people,” said the official. He added that these gloves must have been used for COVID-19 purposes, as the use has increased after the outbreak of coronavirus. A case has been registered at Turbhe Police Station under section 420, 188, 270 and 336 against Surve and others.