Maha: Tobacco products worth Rs 2.74 cr seized

Maharashtra: Gutkha, pan masala and other tobacco products worth Rs 2.74 cr seized, one held

The FDA officials said they are on the lookout for three more persons, including the owner of the godown

Representative image. (DH Photo)

The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) of Maharashtra has seized gutkha, pan masala and other banned tobacco products collectively worth Rs 2.74 crore from a godown at Bhiwandi in Thane district and arrested a man in this connection, officials said on Saturday.

The seizure and the arrest came following a raid conducted at the godown located in Kharbao area of Bhiwandi during the intervening night of January 16 and 17, the officials said.

The operation lasted 30 hours, Joint Commissioner of the Konkan division of the FDA, Shivaji Desai, said.

"The raid was conducted following a tip-off. A team of FDA officials visited the godown, which was being used as a wedding hall till recently, and found a huge stock of gutkha, pan masala and other banned tobacco products," he added.

FDA Assistant Commissioner of Bhiwandi Zone, Bhushan More, who led the operation, said the seized material is collectively worth Rs 2,74,52,700.

"We have arrested Amarbahadur Ramkhilavan Saroj, the vendor of the banned material. He was present at the godown when it was raided," he added.

Saroj was produced before a local court, which remanded him in police custody till Monday, More said.

Based on the complaint lodged by the FDA officials, the Bhiwandi Police have registered an offence under various sections of the Food Safety and Standards Act, and under IPC sections 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 272 (adulteration of food or drink intended for sale), 273 (sale of noxious food or drink) and 328 (causing hurt by means of poison, etc., with intent to commit an offence).

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