25 lakh masks worth ₹15 cr seized, 4 heldUpdated: Mar 25, 2020 01:04 IST
Around 3.25 lakh N-95 and 22 lakh three-ply surgical masks, total worth ₹15 crore, were seized in raids conducted by the Mumbai crime branch in two warehouses in Sahar village, Andheri (East) and one in Bhiwandi. Four people were arrested for being involved in the racket. There has been a shortage of masks in the city.
Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh, along with Mumbai police commissioner Parambir Singh, addressing the media said, “There is a shortage of masks in the market. Police got a tip-off and conducted the raids. Strict action will be taken against all the accused for stocking the masks illegally.”
“The accused were selling the masks at high rates to make a profit. The three-ply mask which costs ₹2 in the market was being sold at ₹20 by the accused. They were also selling the N-95 masks, which cost around ₹100, for ₹300 in the black market,” said Akbar Pathan, deputy police commissioner. Based on a tip-off, a raid was conducted at Akhil warehouse and Gulam warehouse, at Sahar village on Monday night and masks were seized. Owners of the warehouses, Shahrukh Akhil Shaikh and Gulam Murtuza Munshir, were arrested and probe revealed that they had also stored masks at a warehouse in Bhiwandi, said a crime branch official. Four teams, led by senior police inspector Mahesh Desai, along with police inspector Sanjiv Gavade and assistant police inspector V Kore then raided the Bhiwandi warehouse.