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Gutkha worth Rs 8.60 crore seized in Konkan in two years

Maharashtra’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has seized gutkha worth Rs 8.60 crore in Konkan Division ever since the sale and consumption of the tobacco-laced product was banned in the State two years ago.

Addressing a news conference here today, FDA Joint Commissioner (Konkan Division) P M Raut said the gutkha stocks were seized in raids at various places in the region, which consists of Thane, Mumbai, Raigad, Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts.

Of the total stock, gutkha worth Rs 5.50 crore has already been destroyed. The remaining consignment has been kept in FDA office here awaiting permission from authorities concerned for crushing, he said.

A total of 24,314 inspections/raids were carried out in the last two years, Raut said, adding FDA had filed as many as 79 FIRs with the police in connection with seizures.

The ban on sale, manufacutre and consumption of guthka and allied products came into force in July 2012. The ban was extended by one more year yesterday.

Raut said gutkha pouches are being smuggled into Thane from Gujarat, Daman & Diu and Karnataka.

Export of gutkha and allied products is allowed from Gujarat, though they are banned in the neighbouring State. The stock meant for overseas markets finds its way here, he said.


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