With five arrests and seizure of used Nitrile hand gloves worth ₹48 lakh, the Navi Mumbai Crime Branch suspects that the hospital that supplied them might be from Kochi. A police team is already in Kochi scrutinising the evidence and verifying the link to one of the known hospitals there.
On August 18, as per the information received by assistant police inspector Rahul Rakh, Unit I of the Crime Branch seized around four tonnes of used hand gloves at a unit in Gami Industrial Park, Pawane MIDC, Navi Mumabi, which were being washed and repacked for selling them further. The police found 263 sacks containing four lakh used gloves and 17 packets which had used gloves after they were washed and dried.
Prashant Ashok Surve (38), a resident of Belapur, who ran the unit, was arrested. Mr. Surve led the police to Vipul Shah (52) from Malad, and Nazeem Khan (30) from Bhiwandi who ran a godown in Bhiwandi from where 15 tonnes of used gloves worth ₹15 lakh were seized.
Mr. Shah and Mr. Khan led the police to Imran Lateef Siddiqui in Bengaluru. “We seized 10 tonnes of used gloves worth ₹10 lakh from the godown in Bengaluru, but the accused is yet to be arrested. Once he is arrested, we would get further trail of the used gloves,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Pravin Patil said.
Mr. Surve also helped the police zero in on Afroz Shaikh (36) from Malegaon who had a godown in Aurangabad from where 19 tonnes of used gloves worth ₹19 lakh were seized. Mr. Shaikh led the police to Hyderabad from where the police got another lead to a Kochi hospital.
Mr. Shaikh also told the police about Tarun Lakshmandas Ramani in Delhi who used to make payments to him for the used gloves supplied to Mr. Surve. “Mr. Ramani was the middleman between Mr. Surve and Mr. Shaikh. Mr. Surve used to transfer money into the account of Mr. Ramani for the used gloves being supplied by Mr. Shaikh. After taking his commission, Mr. Ramani used to then transfer the money to Mr. Shaikh,” Mr. Patil said.
He further said that the police had found out that Mr. Surve was given a contract by Nielsen India Company based in Vikhroli, for providing Nitrile hand gloves for their employees in various branches. “While the company has 296 branches, these gloves were already supplied to the workers of 107 branches by Mr. Surve,” Mr. Patil said.