Hyderabad: Hyderabad Task Force nabbed a five-member gang at Shahinayathgunj on charges of illegally importing and selling foreign cigarettes and seized foreign cigarettes worth over Rs.1 crore from them.
The arrested persons are Vipul Ranka, a trader from Begum Bazaar, Jagadish Kumar a trader from Chaknawadi, D.Shrishrimal, a perfume merchant from Afzalgunj, Pavan Kumar, an employee of Sarna Transport in Goshamahal and M.A.Haneef, delivery agent of Sarna Transport. The absconding suspect is Ravinder Singh Sarna, the owner of Sarna Transport.
According to the police, due to loss in the business and financial constraints, Vipul Ranka plotted to sell foreign cigarettes as there is high demand for them in Hyderabad.
“Ravinder used to procure the foreign cigarettes for a reasonable rate from his sources and sold them to his customers on a higher rate and made profits,” said Anjani Kumar, Police Commissioner, Hyderabad.
Under the guise of Sarna Transports, Pavan Kumar and M.A Haneef stored foreign cigarettes in their godown and distributed the material to customers on Ravinder Singh’s instructions.
In the process Vipual became partner with local distributors Jagadish Kumar and Chand Sri Sri, who distributed the cigarettes to pan shops, marketing agents and hawkers on a commission basis.
“These foreign cigarettes are being illegally smuggled from countries like China, Malaysia, Switzerland and South Korea to evade taxes and are being sold in Delhi, Hyderabad and other states with heavy margin to the sellers,” Anjani Kumar said.