VADODARA: The central excise department seized the stock from the illegal gutkha making unit in Chhota Udepur and brought it to its premises in the city on Wednesday.

The excise officials said that they have seized 447 bags of raw materials including tobacco, supari, kathha and other semi-finished goods worth about Rs one crore from the unit that was being run in a forest area in Kumbhani village. The department in an official release said, ‘Investigating officer Manoj Karn, superintendent along with other central excise officers conducted search at factory premises of illegal gutkha manufacturing unit at Kumbhani and recovered 13 gutkha manufacturing machines along with other finished goods.’ The release added that preliminary estimation reveals that there is evasion of excise duty of approximately Rs 50 crore.

Excise officials said that labourers working at the factory told them that Raju Kumbhani is the operation in-charge of the factory.

“We will take statements of Raju and one more person identified as Altaf. We are yet to ascertain the gutkha unit’s factory owner,” an excise official said.

A team of excise officials had raided the illegal gutkha making unit in Chhota Udepur on February 16 on the basis of a tip-off. Locals had also pelted stones at the raiding team and cut off electricity supply to prevent the officials from conducting the raid.

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