Mumbai police seize 4 lakh masks worth Rs 1 cr

Mumbai, March 25
In the second such operation in two days, the Vile Parle police swooped on a private warehouse and seized 400,000 masks worth around Rs 1 crore hoarded there, an official said here on Wednesday.

The consignment stored in 200 boxes was apparently intended for sale in the black market or export since the masks are currently in high demand worldwide due to the coronavirus pandemic.

While controlling the crowds at a market last night, Inspector Rajendra Kane got a tip-off of illegal storage of a large quantity of the three-ply face masks near the cargo complex warehouse near the Sahar Airport vicinity.

Under directions from Deputy Commissioner of Police (VIII) Manjunath Shinge, a team was set up which raided the Shah Warehousing & Transport Godown near the international airport and seized the masks.

This is the second big seizure after yesterday's operation in which 2.50 milion masks including 325,000 N-90 masks were recovered from a godown near the airport and a warehouse in Bhiwandi town in Thane by Mumbai Police Crime Branch.

Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has lauded the police efforts in detecting and busting the rackets of hoarding or smuggling of masks, considered vital in the war against virus' being waged in the country.

Further investigations are under way in both the cases to ascertain whether these were being exported and links to other gangs that may be involved in the rackets.