Police in Mumbai's Vile Parle suburb raided a private warehouse and seized 4 lakh masks estimated to be worth almost Rs 1 crore, an official said today. This is the police's second operation in two days.
The consignment stored in 200 boxes was apparently intended for sale in the black market or export since 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 about the illegal storage of a large quantity of the three-ply face masks near the cargo complex warehouse in the Sahar Airport vicinity.
Under directions from Deputy Commissioner of Police (VIII) Manjunath Singe, 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 2.5 milion masks including 3.25 lakh N-90 masks were recovered from a godown near the airport and a warehouse in Thane's Bhiwandi by the Mumbai Police Crime Branch.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has lauded the police efforts in detecting and busting the rackets of mask hoarders and smugglers.
Further investigations are underway in both the cases to ascertain whether these were being exported and whethere there are links with other gangs that may be involved in these rackets.