All cops had to do was pose as journalists to bust a gutka racket, operating from a warehouse in Santacruz. A little over two weeks after the Mumbai police’s crime branch lifted the lid on a gutka mafia racket with the detention of three people, who revealed how Rs 60 crore worth of the banned product is smuggled into the city every month, officers from the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai police raided the Santacruz godown on Tuesday.

Although the warehouse was locked, a peek inside was enough to confirm that a huge consignment of gutka was stored inside the premises. Gutka worth R80 lakh was seized from the godown.

The gutka consignment seized from the Santacruz godown

The cop, who supervised the entire operation, had done a thorough recce before the raid and also posed as a journalist to enter the godown. Rajendra Trivedi, assistant commissioner of police, EOW, was acting on a tip-off. "We had learnt through sources that gutka distributors stored their stocks at this Santacruz warehouse. I visited the godown on Monday to conduct a recce and found that the area surrounding the warehouse was under CCTV surveillance. Also, it was locked, so I peeped inside to confirm that we had correct information. The next morning, I formed a team of cops and we visited the site again. Dressed in civilian clothes and driving a private car we managed to enter the godown, posing as journalists on an assignment. We immediately spotted a huge consignment of gutka," said Trivedi.

Identifying the culprits, Trivedi said, "The consignment belongs to Vivek and Bindiya Nayak, who had rented this warehouse. We have arrested the duo and sent the consignment to the Food and Drugs Administration for further course of action." He added that these smugglers brought in the banned goods via the Gujarat-Mumbai route, mid-day had reported about last month.