A special team formed by Mylapore deputy commissioner of police Shashank Sai intercepted the small container from Bengaluru at Sunguvachatram near Sriperumbudur. The container had nearly 5,500 kg of gutkha products worth over Rs 50 lakh. Police arrested driver Muthuraj, a native of Virudha Nagar, Sivaraj from Villupuram and Aravind from Chengalpattu.
Police are now looking for kingpin Kannalingam alias Selvam and his associate Muniyappan who had been allegedly managing to transport more than 60 tonnes of banned gutkha into the city every month.
Sources said the particular gang used three small containers on rotation to bring in banned tobacco products to the city. The gang seems to be having a well-oiled network for distribution in the city, sources added.
The seizure proved that there is a huge flow of contraband into Chennai despite the fact that the State administration is yet to recover from the shock of a gutkha scam which is being probed by the Central Bureau of Investigation.
The agency, in the first week of September 2018, had raided the residence of the then State DGP T K Rajendran and Health Minister C Vijay Bhaskar and besides the house of DGP S George, former Chennai Police Commissioner.
The agency has arrested six persons including three government officials in connection with the Rs 40 crore scam, in which officials were alleged to have received a bribe for allowing the trade of banned tobacco products, including gutkha.