Two held with gutkha worth `21L

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - NAVI MUMBAI - G Mo­hi­ud­din Jeddy ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­

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.”

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