Gang supplying imported e-cigarettes to youngster in Delhi NCR busted; 2 held in Noida


PTI, Jun 14, 2024, 6:15 PM IST

Around 2,500 imported e-cigarettes, worth over Rs 1 crore, and four kilograms of marijuana have been seized with police arresting two people allegedly involved in selling it to youngsters in Delhi-NCR, police here said Friday.
The arrested individuals admitted to selling the e-cigarettes, which are banned in India, to students in schools, colleges, universities and PG accommodations across Delhi NCR, they said.
The accused were held in a coordinated action by officials of Sector 20 police station and the Crime Response Team (CRT), a senior officer said.
Ravi Kumar and Shahnawaz were held late Thursday night near Noida’s famous Sector 18 market, the officer said.
“A gang involved in supply of cannabis and e-cigarettes has been busted. Two people have been arrested. We have recovered 2,500 e-cigarettes from the gang, with each usually costing between Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 in the black market,” DCP (Crime) Shakti Mohan Avasthy said.
“In total, e-cigarettes worth approximately Rs 1 crore have been recovered along with four kilograms of cannabis from their possession,” Avasthy said.
He told reporters that the third absconding associate of the gang has been identified as Jitendra Walia, who used to supply these materials to the duo. Walia alias KD alias Sonu is a resident of Gurugram.
“Efforts are underway to ensure his arrest also very soon,” Avasthy said.
According to police, hookah items and over 2,500 hookah flavours were also recovered from the possession of the arrested duo.
The accused were supplying banned substances with hookah items as their front cover, the police said.
A three-wheeler vehicle used by the duo for supplying these items in Delhi NCR has also been impounded, the police added.
“During initial inquiry, the arrested persons revealed that these e-cigarettes were imported from abroad, particularly from countries falling towards the West of India. The supply was made from there and the accused would then take it further,” DCP Avasthy said.
“The accused had just started this work in Noida and was arrested immediately. They said they have operated in the past in Delhi,” he added.
He said Walia has a criminal history and has been arrested by the Delhi Police in the past, while details about the background of the arrested duo are being checked.
An FIR has been lodged at the Sector 20 police station under Section 8/20 of the NDPS Act and under Section 4 of The Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes Act, 2019, the police said, adding further legal proceedings are underway.

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