The police, on a tip-off, intercepted a tempo carrying 1.5 tonne of beef near Kharghar toll plaza on the Sion-Panvel highway during the wee hours of Thursday.
The Kharghar police had earlier received a tip off from ‘People For Animals’ NGO about the banned meat being transported from Pune to Kurla.
Based on the information, officials laid a trap near the toll plaza and intercepted the tempo carrying butchered pieces of cattle meat around 3 am in Navi Mumbai. The meat weighed in at 1,500 kg or 1.5 tonne.
After seizing the tempo and the meat, the latter was sent to a veterinary doctor for testing. A forensic laboratory report confirmed that the pieces of meat were indeed beef.
The driver and cleaner were reportedly identified as Mehboob Shaikh (49) and Faisal Dasulgar (22) respectively. Shaikh resides in Pune, while Dasulgar is a resident of Kurla in Mumbai.
The accused have been booked under section 429 (mischief by killing or maiming cattle) and section 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code, along with the relevant sections of the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act and Prevention of Cruelty towards Animal Act.
Under the Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act, 1976, which governs the slaughter of cattle in the state, slaughter of cows is completely prohibited.
The offence is cognizable and violators can be punished with imprisonment up to a maximum of 6 months and fine of up to Rs 1,000. In March 2015, the ban was extended to sale and export of beef, which carried a punishment of 5 years in jail and Rs 10,000 fine for possession or sale.Back to latest news