Mumbai: Crime branch raids Lakadabazar godown seizes gutkha worth Rs 25 lakh
The state government's gutkha ban is turning out to be a jackpot for those from the city who continue to be a part of the business. It has not only helped them establish the business well, but also to make huge profits – thanks to those who are ready to pay three times the price for the contraband. Cracking their whip on yet another link to the thriving business, Crime Branch officers raided a godown in Lakadabazar and seized gutkha worth Rs 25 lakh.
Huge amounts of the contraband was seized from a godown in Lakadabazar
Two people have been arrested in the case – Shakeel Khan alias Shakeel Nagpada, 40, owner of the godown and Ahmand Sharafat Ali Khan, 28, who earlier used to run a pan shop in Nalbazar area.
On Thursday morning, while Rajendra Trivedi, ACP, EOW, was on his way to work, he spotted a tempo at the signal opposite Chitra cinema in Dadar. Though Trivedi was not suspicious of the driver, looking at him Khan suddenly blurted out 'sahab mistake ho gaya'. On hearing this, Trivedi asked him to park his vehicle on the side. Even without any interrogation, Khan revealed what he was transporting. Thereafter, he took Trivedi and his team of officers to the godown from where they seized the gutkha.
Following the arrests, the cops came to know that Shakeel has been in the business for the past five to six years. Sources said that earlier Khan used to run a pan shop in Nalbazar, but after he met some people involved in the business from the same area, he became a part of it. Sources said that initially there was not much profit but after the ban they started earning three times of what they used to get earlier.
Sources further said that Shakeel has two to three godowns in South Mumbai, which he has taken on rent, a house at Mataparvati Nagar Malabar Hill, a shop at Nalbazar and a house in Nagpada Shuklaji street, where he stays. Trivedi said, "Shakeel is doing this business since a long time. He has made a lot of money and bought properties across the city."
Meanwhile, some handwritten bills recovered from Khan have brought two other names to the fore - Mahesh Gupta alias Mahesh Vada Pav and Salim Murgi. They have been shown as wanted in the case.
According to sources, Gupta has been a part of the business for the last four years. Earlier he used to run a vada pav and tea stall, but after the gutkha ban he became a part of the racket and earned huge profits. He has a shop atMirzagalibMarket, a house in Nalbazar and four godowns in the same area. "Both Mahesh and Salim are wanted in the case," added Trivedi. Sources further revealed that two days ago police raided one of Mahesh's godowns and seized gutkha worth lakhs of rupees.
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