Bengaluru: Fake firm selling ciggies online busted

Coronavirus Lockdown: Fake firm selling ciggies online busted in Bengaluru

The cigarettes were delivered by this car. SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Two restaurant employees have been arrested for selling cigarettes and other tobacco products through a fictitious delivery services firm in violation of the lockdown. 

The Central Crime Branch (CCB) said it busted Moonlight, a so-called delivery services firm that was selling cigarettes and other tobacco products online.

The CCB’s organised crime wing arrested Richmond Town resident Akhtar Mirza, 28, and Berlie Street resident Tasbuddin Mohiuddin alias Mondal, 32, near the Ganesh temple on Kasturba Road, central Bengaluru, around 5.30 pm on April 20. 

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The duo was travelling in a Honda City (MH 02/AQ 3357) to deliver Indian-, foreign-made cigarettes, paan masala and other tobacco products on the customers’ doorstep, said Sandeep Patil, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime). Together with another man named Mateen Ahmad, they had set up the fake delivery services firm and attracted customers through ads on social media. Customers were asked to call a phone number given in the ad. With the sale of all tobacco products banned during the lockdown, they charged a premium for their offerings. The CCB received a tip about the group’s activities and started tracking their movements. 

The CCB has seized the car along with 450 packets of cigarettes and paan masala. The goods are worth Rs 30,000, going by their MRP. 

Cubbon Park police have registered a case under the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act and IPC sections 269 and 270 (negligent and malignant acts likely to spread the infection of disease dangerous to life).