The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) in Mumbai on Friday seized nearly 70 lakh lakh sticks of smuggled Indonesian cigarettes ‘Gudang Garam’ from a residential flat and commercial godown in Bhiwandi, Thane.
The press note, released by DRI, Mumbai, also mentioned that the 69.26 lakh seized sticks were worth an estimated Rs 6.92 crores.
“The cigarette packets were found to be printed with statutory warnings in English and Arabic languages, indicating that they were basically meant for Middle East Asian market,” the press note read.
According to sources, the mastermind of the cigarette smuggling racket is absconding and the DRI have launched a manhunt to nab him.
The caretakers of the godown have also admitted that the seized cigarettes have been smuggled to India.
The Indonesian brand of cigarette, called ‘Gudang Garam’, is made up of crushed clove, clove oil and tobacco that give the cigarettes a clove flavour. The brand is very popular among teenagers in India for its unique flavour.
However, the foreign-made cigarettes attract a heavy import duty, making smuggling a lucrative business.
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