54,000 face masks seized, two arrested
Mumbai Police’s crime branch arrested two accused in two separate cases from Nagpada and Dharavi and seized 54,000 three-ply masks worth ₹14 lakh. During inquiry, police learnt that the accused, both of whom generally stitch leather bags, started manufacturing three-ply masks illegally and selling them in the black market after seeing the demand for the same rising in view of coronavirus outbreak.
According to the police, crime branch’s unit 2 got tip-off that one Mohammad Meraj Shamshul Alam Siddhique, 36, was illegally storing and selling three-ply masks, following which a team led by inspector Sanjay Nikumbhe raided his shop in Nagpada and seized 30,300 masks worth ₹7.57 lakh. A case was registered with Agripada police and Siddhique was handed over for further legal action.
The second raid was conducted by crime branch’s unit 5 wherein the police team led by Yogesh Chavan seized 24,000 three-ply masks from Dharavi and arrested Faiz Ali Hyderali Shaikh, 21.
The government has included hand sanitisers and masks in the list of essential products. The crime branch officers have been conducting raids on illegal mask suppliers in the city.
Raids so far:
March 31: Crime Branch’s unit 7 raided a factory at Sakinaka which was manufacturing hand sanitisers without valid license. Police seized hand sanitisers and other chemicals worth ₹22.13 lakh and arrested Dilip Gokul Chamaria, 32.
March 24: Unit 9 seized around 25 lakh masks worth ₹15 crore and arrested four.
March 27: Unit 8, unit 10 and unit 11 conducted raids in Govandi and Mahim, and seized hand sanitisers and face masks worth ₹1.5 crore.
April 2: Unit 2 raided in Mahalaxmi and seized three-ply masks worth ₹8.25 lakh and arrested Abdulsamad Subroti Ansari.