The state govt has banned manufacturing and sale of gutka since 2012.
Mumbai: In a joint operation, the Thane police’s Anti Narcotic Cell (ANC) and the Maharashtra Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) seized two trucks containing packets of gutka worth Rs 80 lakh. The manufacturing and sale of gutka has been banned in Maharashtra since 2012. The Thane police arrested four persons with the banned substance at Kharghar toll booth. The gutka was supplied by a Gujarat-based manufacturing firm and was meant to be delivered to an export house in Mumbai. The gutka is sold in Mahatrashtra at twice the printed price, according to an ANC source.
In 2012, Maharashtra Government had banned sale and manufacturing of gutka under the Food Safety and Standards Act 2006 and Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, 1954. The offences under these acts are non-bailable.
ACP Thane police, Bharat Shelke said, “Acting on a tip-off, our officials laid a trap and seized the banned material. The gutka was hidden inside the truck in separate compartment so that the vehicle could look empty.”
The officials from FDA said, “It was after the tip-off by Thane FDA authorities and Thane’s Anti Narcotic Cell that we stopped the two trucks near the Kharegaon toll booth on Friday afternoon. The material had come from Bharat Benze company in Gujarat. While we are probing the case, the seized gutkha packets have been sent for chemical analysis at a laboratory in Thane. We are waiting for the report.”
The arrested accused have been identified as Mohammad Hakim (22) cleaner of the one of the trucks, Burekhan Khan (35), Nasrul Khan (26) and Kalim Khan (19). “ We have found the company which was sending this material to Mumbai from past few months.”
A case has been registered under relevant sections of Indian Penal Code, Food Safety and Standards Act 2006, and Food Safety and Standards Regulations Act 2011.