Maharashtra: Two arrested for transporting banned tobacco products

The Palghar Police in Maharashtra have arrested two persons for allegedly transporting banned tobacco products valued at over Rs 2 lakh, an official said on Friday, reported the PTI.

According to the PTI, the suspects identified as Sunil Jagaram Godhara and Suresh Bhuraram Chowdhari were caught on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad highway during patrolling on Tuesday night, he said.

The two were travelling in a car that was loaded with banned tobacco products valued at Rs 2.17 lakh, he said.

A case has been registered against them at the Talsari police station under the Indian Penal Code for causing hurt by means of poison and adulteration of food or drink intended for sale and the Food Safety and Standards Act, he added, as per the PTI.

Meanwhile, the police in Maharashtra`s Thane district have seized banned gutka and tobacco products valued at about Rs 8 lakh, an official said on Friday, the PTI reported.

Acting on a tip-off, the Shanti Nagar police in Bhiwandi area raided a paan stall on Wednesday and found it to be storing and selling gutka and tobacco products that are prohibited in the state over public health concerns.

The seized items are valued at Rs 7.77 lakh, he said, adding that an FIR has been registered against Farman Ahmad Manzoor Ansari (24), who was operating the stall, and three more individuals, the news agency reported on Friday.

In an another incident, the police raided a factory in Maharashtra`s Thane district where spurious butter was manufactured and sold in the name of a popular brand and arrested its owner and another person, an official said on Thursday, the PTI reported on Thursday.

Based on a tip-off, a crime branch team conducted the raid on Tuesday at the premises located near an under-construction building in Khoni village of Dombivli area, senior police inspector Naresh Pawar said, the news agency reported.

As per preliminary investigation, the factory owner used to mix vanaspati, refined palmolein oil, salt, food colour and other ingredients to prepare blocks of spurious butter, which were then stored in a deep freezer, wrapped in butter paper bearing the name of a popular brand and sold in the market, he said.

The spurious butter was supplied to hotels, street vendors selling sandwiches and dhabas (roadside eateries) after being falsely labelled as a genuine product, he said.

During the raid, the police seized machinery, accessories used in the manufacturing process, raw materials and cartons of the popular brand, collectively valued at Rs 2,93,255, the official said.

The crime branch arrested the unit owner and another person involved in the offence from a village near Dombivli.

An FIR was registered against them under Indian Penal Code sections 420 (cheating), 272 (adulteration of food or drink intended for sale), 273 (sale of noxious food or drink) and 34 (common intention) and provisions of the Food Safety and Standards Act, 2006, the police said.

(with PTI inputs)

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