According to Ramanathapuram Superintendent of Police V Varun Kumar, the seizure was made on Tuesday night when a special team was engaged in vehicle check at Kakur near Mudukulathur. When the team spotted a suspicious van moving, the vehicle was intercepted. While inquiring, the police were told the vehicle was carrying rice from Salem. However, the driver could not produce proper bill for the goods. After verifying the bill, it showed a steel company addressed in Salem. As it raised doubts, the police checked rice bags and ultimately, sachets of banned gutkha were found concealed inside bags. Investigations revealed that Zia Ul Haq from Salem was the main supplier, who sourced the gutkha products from Chittor and Bengaluru, and was on the way to supply it to Sarbudeen and Sahubar Sadiq, who were wholesale dealers.
The accused were identified as A Sahubar Sadiq (48) of North Street, Sikkal, A. Sarbudeen (58) of North Street, Mudukulathur, Zia Ul Haq of Sevvai Pettai, Salem, R Natarajan (28) of Thovaramangalam, Salem and M. Ayyanar (30) of Salem. Besides, cash of Rs 27,500, which they had from proceeds of sale of gutkha, has also been seized, the SP said. In recognition of the team work that helped in cracking the case, the team was awarded amply, the SP said.