Five persons were arrested for selling kerosene meant to be sold through the public distribution system, at a higher price.
The Powai police officers suspect that a total of 1.5 lakh litres of kerosene has been sold illegally in the past one month.
The rationing officers, who had conducted a raid at these shops with the help of the local police, also slapped a fine of Rs 16.5 lakh on the five accused.
An officer, requesting anonymity as he is not authorised to speak to the media, said, “We had received a tip-off about the sale of kerosene in black at ration shops in the Tunga village of Powai and near the the Indian Institute of Technology. Hence, we conducted a raid.”
The officer added: “The accused, identified as Maruti Gajre, Pravin Prajapati, Dashrath Darvesh, Babu Darvesh, and Gajanan Nalavde, are in their late 30s. They have all been remanded to police custody till November 15.
“We suspect there are more persons involved in the racket and will be interrogating the accused further.”
Senior police inspector Ashok Jadhav from Powai police station said: “The accused have been booked on charges of cheating, forgery and relevant sections of the Essential Commodities Act.”
Jadhav said there was huge demand of kerosene due to the festive season. “Therefore black marketing was rampant,” he said.