Vikash Sharma

Balasore: The Special Task Force (STF) of Crime Branch on Sunday conducted raids at two different places in Jaleswar area, and seized gutkha and tobacco products worth over Rs 10 lakh.

Acting on a tip-off, a special team of STF conducted raids in different places of Jaleswar in Balasore district as part of its crackdown against illegal storage, manufacture and sale of fake tobacco (zarda) products yesterday.

The team seized huge quantities of Gopal Zarda and other tobacco materials from the possession of one Ashok Kumar Sahu of Rajpur area.

Later, the STF seized duplicate products of Gopal Zarda following a raid at Station bazaar area in Jaleswar. One Chandan Chourasia has been detained in this connection.

“We have seized over two quintals of fake tobacco products worth over Rs 10 lakh following raids at two different places in the past 24 hours,” a senior official said.

Senior STF officials said that two separate cases under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 379,411,417 and section 20 of Cotpa Act have been registered and further investigation in this connection is underway.

On January 23, Bhadrak police busted one more duplicate chewing tobacco (Zarda) manufacturing unit at Chandakamahala area under Puruna Bazaar police limits. Huge quantity of duplicate tobacco products of reputed brands, different chemicals and packing machines were seized during the raid.

On November 23, 2020, a duplicate gutkha (tobacco) manufacturing unit operating in a clandestine manner at the Jagatpur Industrial Estate was busted by police in Cuttack.

(Edited By Pradeep Singh)