Two held with gutkha worth `21L
PANVEL: Navi Mumbai crime branch (unit 2) Panvel busted a gutkha sale racket and seized the contraband and two vehicles worth Rs20.80 lakh on Thursday.
Senior police inspector NB Kolhatkar got a tip-off that gutkha was going to be brought near MGM Hospital in Kamothe in an Innova and a Mahindra XUV.
Deputy commissioner of police (crime) Dilip Sawant said, “The team roped in FDA officials from Pen and laid a trap opposite MGM Hospital. They managed to locate the two vehicles and searched them.”
He said, “In the Innova, there were 48 bags of 1,56,000 ‘Sagar 2000’ gutkha pouches of Re1 each. In the Mahindra XUV, there were 54 bags of ‘Premium R.K.’ gutkha. There were 1,62,000 pouches of Rs2 each.”
Sawant said, “A total of Rs4.8 lakh worth of gutkha was seized apart from the two vehicles taking the total amount to Rs20.8 lakh.”
The police arrested Mohammed Imran Shaikh, 24, a resident of Antop Hill, Shabbir Khan, 35, of Wadala and Matin Patel, 43, a resident of Panvel.
Sawant said, “Gutkha is banned in Maharashtra and is smuggled in from Andhra Pradesh and other neighbouring states. It is sold in the market here at three to four times its cost.”