7 arrested, stolen cigarettes worth ` 1 crore seized
THANE: The crime branch of Thane police on Wednesday claimed to have busted a cigarette-theft racket with the arrest of seven persons and recovery of stolen items worth Rs1.03 crore.
On December 16, last year, the accused allegedly looted 312 cigarette cartons worth Rs1.50 crore after stopping a tempo heading for the company’s godown from Ambernath. The booty was then taken to a godown at Shil Phata near here, DCP Parag Manere said.
After learning that the cartons had been sold to a trader at Ulhasngar here, police arrested seven of the accused and recovered 195 cigarette cartons worth Rs1.03 crore, he said. Hunt is on to arrest godown owner Nazir Anna and the leader of the gang Anil Ahire, the DCP said.
Senior i nspector Niteen Thackeray identified the arrested men as Firoz Rehamanuddin Khan, Abdul Mohamamd Sharif Pathan, Hanif Ahmed Khatil, Sher Ali Salim Sayyed, Mohammad HanifAllabax Shaikh, Akash Dighambar Fad and Ashik Lucky Prasad Chourasia (the paan-shop owner who allegedly bought the cigarettes).
Firoz had been earlier arrested by the Shivaji Nagar police station in a similar case.
The gang sold the stolen cigarettes at around half the marked price.