How Pune Police conducted country’s biggest raid on illegal gutkha suppliers
Pune: Police Commissioner Amitabh Gupta claimed that his team of Crime Branch sleuths have conducted the biggest raid on illegal gutkha suppliers and distributors. A police team from Unit IV of Crime Branch raided Kashi Venture company situated at Silvassa in Union Territory of Dadra & Nagar Haveli and seized gutka packets worth Rs 15 crore and the raw material used to manufacture it.
Although the raid was successful, the company owners and other employees managed to escape. Their names have been identified and they would be nabbed soon, informed Gupta during a press conference held on Friday (January 8) at the Police Commissionerate office. Joint Commissioner of Police Dr Ravindra Shisve and Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Bachchan Singh were also present during the conference.
The Unit IV of Crime Branch led by Police Inspector Rajnish Nirmal had conducted several raids in Kharadi area on December 2 and arrested nine suspected Hawala operators, including a Kharadi-based gutkha distributor Suresh Moolchand Agarwal (54), and seized nearly Rs 3.7 crore in cash which was preceded by raid in a building in front of Dagdusheth Ganapati temple on Shivaji Road in Budhwar Peth area from where the hawala ring was being operated. This operation was jointly carried out by Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone I) Priyanka Narnaware, Police Inspector (Unit IV) Rajnish Nirmal of the Crime Branch and assistant inspector Abhijit Chougule and their teams. So far 28 raids have been conducted in connection with this case.
Further investigations in the case and information discovered during the interrogation of the suspects revealed that the gutkha was being manufactured and supplied from Vapi in Gujarat and Silvassa in Dadra and Nagar Haveli Union Territory. Hence a team comprising Police Sub Inspector Jaideep Patil, police constables Rajas Shaikh, Sachin Dhavale, Kaustubh Jadhav and Sheetal Shinde was dispatched to nab the suspects from Vapi and Silvassa with the help of local police.
When the team reached Vapi and Silvassa they came to know about Kashi Ventures company which was engaged in manufacturing and supplying gutkha on large scale. The Pune police team, along with local police and Food & Drug Administration (FDA) officials, carried out search operations at the company. Gutkha worth Rs 15 crore and raw material required for manufacturing the banned product was seized from the factory.