Five members of an inter-state gang involved in the sale of used gloves sourced from several hospitals in the country during the COVID-19 pandemic, have been arrested from different places, including Delhi, a top police official from Navi Mumbai said today.
The first arrest in the case was made from Navi Mumbai on August 18 and the "mastermind" of the racket was arrested from Delhi on August 29, Navi Mumbai Police Commissioner Sanjay Kumar said.
Repacked gloves and other equipment, worth around Rs 50.10 lakh, have been seized during the multi-state operation, he said.
"Police had got a tip-off that some persons were selling gloves that were earlier used by doctors and others, by cleaning and repacking them. Accordingly, the crime branch conducted a raid at Pawane MIDC in Navi Mumbai on August 18," he said.
The police team found around 15 youngsters working at the godown owned by a man named Prashant Surve. The workers washed the used gloves with detergent liquids, sanitisers and other chemicals. They were then dried with the help of a dryer and blower and repacked for sale, the commissioner added.
Prashant Surve was arrested and a case was registered at the Turbhe police station.
"During his interrogation, Surve said he had procured the gloves from Bhiwandi in Thane district and Waluj MIDC in Aurangabad. Accordingly, raids were conducted at these places. Two owners of a godown in Bhiwandi, Vipul Shah and Nazim Khan, were arrested, while Shaikh Afroz Shaikh Inayat, was held from Aurangabad," he added.
Based on the information provided by them, the police raided a godown in Bengaluru on August 23 and seized 10 tonnes of unprocessed gloves, he said.
"However, the owner of the godown is yet to be arrested and the police are on the lookout," Mr Kumar added.
The investigation revealed that one accused, Tarun Laxmandas Ramnani, from Mulund in Mumbai, had purchased the refurbished gloves from Prashant Surve. Tarun Ramnani, the prime accused, was arrested from Delhi on August 29, the police commissioner said.
"The police are on the lookout for a couple involved in the racket. A probe team has also been sent to Bengaluru and Cochin," he added.
"The used glovee had been procured from hospitals around the country, including Bangalore, Hyderabad and
Cochin," he said, adding that total 48 tonnes of gloves, two
washing machines, two dryers and one blower, collectively
worth Rs 50,10,830, have been seized.