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More CBI raids in West Bengal in coal smuggling case

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Amid the election campaigning in poll-bound West Bengal, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Tuesday carried out searches at several locations in the state, including the premises of Amit Agarwal, a close aide of key accused Anup Majhi aka Lala in connection with illegal coal smuggling case.

A CBI source related to the probe told IANS, “Multiple agency sleuths are carrying out searches at the premises of Agarwal in Durgapur and Kolkata.”

The source said that the agency team also carried out searches at the office of Jai Shree Steels Private Limited of Agarwal in Durgapur.

Agarwal, who has illegally occupied several properties in several districts of the state, has got protection from West Bengal Police.

The agency’s action comes a day after it questioned Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee’s sister-in-law Menka Gambhir’s husband Ankush Arora and her father-in-law Pawan Arora in connection with the case.

Abhishek is nephew of West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee.

The CBI had registered a case against the alleged kingpin of the pilferage racket Majhi, Eastern Coalfield Ltd General Managers Amit Kumar Dhar and Jayesh Chandra Rai, ECL chief of security Tanmay Das, area security inspector Kunustoria Dhananjay Rai, and SSI and security in-charge Kajora area Debashish Mukherjee in November last year.

The CBI also recorded the statement of Rujira Banerjee, wife of Abhishek and Gambhir in the last week of February.

On February 26, the CBI searched the premises of a businessman in Kolkata and on February 19, the agency carried out searches at 13 locations in four districts of West Bengal, including the premises of coal mafia Jaidev Mondal.

On November 28 last year, the CBI had conducted raids at 45 locations in West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, and Uttar Pradesh in connection with the coal smuggling racket.

Crime

Mumbai police bust drugs factory in Gujarat, seize Mephedrone worth Rs 1,026 cr

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 Notching another big success in 10 days, the Mumbai Police have busted a drugs factory at Ankleshwar in south Gujarat and seized drugs worth Rs 1,026 crore and nabbed one person, as part of an investigation into an ongoing case, officials said here on Tuesday.

Till now, the total seizures in the case — the probe was launched on March 29 with multiple raids in Govandi suburb of Mumbai, Ambernath in Thane and Nalasopara in Palghar, besides Ankleshwar in Gujarat — has touched a staggering Rs 2,435 crore.

In the latest action on August 13, the Anti Narcotics Cell, Worli Unit, seized 513 kg Mephedrone, plus 812 812 kg of white powder and 397 kg of chemicals used to prepare the narcotic drugs, said an official.

The factory raided is situated in the GIDC complex at Panoli in Ankleshwar, and the latest action happened barely 10 days after the previous major drugs haul worth Rs 1,403 crore from Nalasopara town in Palghar district, bordering Gujarat.

So far, seven persons have been arrested in this case, including a woman and a couple of qualified chemists, who allegedly prepared the mixtures of various chemicals to manufacture the final drugs.

Earlier on August 4, the ANC arrested three persons, including two suppliers, from Nalasopara and seized 702 kg of Mephedrone worth Rs 1403.50 crore.

Prior to that on March 29, the ANC had arrested three drug peddlers, including a woman, from Govandi in north-east Mumbai, and raided a premise in Ambernath town, to recover over 3 kg Mephedrone worth more than Rs 4.50 crore.

The sustained interrogation of these six accused led the ANC to make further detentions and the big action ahead of Independence Day in Ankleshwar where the rich haul was seized on Saturday.

The ANC said the drug peddlers, including the woman, are currently in police or judicial custody and further probe is underway.

The teams which cracked one of the biggest narcotics supply rackets comprised Inspector Sandeep Kale, ACP Savlaram Agavale, DCP Datta Nalawade, Additional Police Commissioner Viresh Prabhu, Joint Police Commissioner Suhas Warke and Police Commissioner Vivek Phansalkar, along with the field teams of ANC Worli unit.

The ANC said the woman accused along with the other peddlers kept their identity secret, sought clients on social media and supplied the drugs to them in different parts of Mumbai and its surrounding areas.

Further probe is focused on tracing the source of the drugs, other hidden players and their links with the narcotics mafia.

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Crime

FSSAI assures action against hanging of toilet brushes over pizza dough at Domino’s outlet in B’luru

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 The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) on Tuesday took cognisance of hanging of toilet brushes over pizza dough at a Domino’s outlet in Bengaluru.

The apex food regulator under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said on Tuesday that the response of the FBO has been sought and appropriate action shall be taken in the matter as per the regulatory provisions under the FSS Act, 2006.

On July 24, a person named Sahil Karnany had tweeted some pictures, which showed toilet brushes hanging over pizza dough at a Domino’s outlet in Bengaluru.

“This is how Domino’s India serves us fresh pizza! Very disgusted,” he wrote.

Karnany had also tagged FSSAI, Karnataka Health Minister K. Sudhakar and Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandviya in the post.

On Sunday, Karnany again posted a video showing toilet brushes, clothes used for cleaning tables hanging over pizza dough.

As his posts went viral on social media, Domino’s issued a statement saying strict action has been initiated against the management of the outlet.

The company also said that it adheres to international standards to ensure quality of food and hygiene.

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Crime

Action initiated, says SpiceJet on smoking video inside aircraft

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 Referring to a video making rounds on social media of a passenger smoking onboard a SpiceJet aircraft, the airline on Thursday said that the issue was probed, and necessary action was taken into the matter.

The passenger was put on a No Flying list by the airline for 15 days in February this year, said a SpiceJet spokesperson.

“The matter had been investigated thoroughly in January 2022 when the video was brought to our notice and a complaint had been filed by the airline with the Udyog Vihar police station in Gurugram. The video, the investigation had revealed, was shot on January 20 while passengers were boarding the flight SG 706 scheduled to operate from Dubai to Delhi,” said a SpiceJet spokesperson.

The airline said that the said passenger and his co-passengers shot the video on the 21st row when the cabin crew were occupied with completing the on-boarding procedure.

“None of the passengers or crew was aware of the act. The matter came to the airline’s notice on January 24 through social media posts,” it added.

The matter was referred to the Internal Committee constituted as per the provisions of Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) on handling of unruly passengers (not consisting of any SpiceJet employee). The said passenger was put on a no flying list by the airline for 15 days in February.

Union Civil Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Thursday directed the concerned authorities to probe a person who in violation of rules lit up a cigarette and smoked on an aircraft. Responding to a video on Twitter, Scindia said: “Investigating it. There will be no tolerance towards such hazardous behaviour.”

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