Gutkha scam: CBI arrests four

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New Delhi, Sep 6 (IANS) The CBI on Thursday said it has arrested four persons including the promoters and directors of Jayem Industries and officers of the Food Safety and Drug Administration and Excise Department in connection with the multi-crore gutkha scam in Tamil Nadu.

A Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) source told IANS said the agency had arrested Jayem Industries promoters and directors A.V. Madhav Rao and Uma Shankar Gupta.

The source said it had also arrested a designated officer of the Food Safety and Drug Administration department, P Senthil Murugan, and a Superintendent of the Central Excise Department, N.K. Pandian.

The arrests come a day after the CBI searched over 35 places in Bengaluru, Mumbai, Puducherry, Chennai, Tiruvallur and Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu and Guntur in Andhra Pradesh.

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It raided the premises of Tamil Nadu Health Minister C. Vijayabasker and Director General of Police T.K. Rajendran, prompting calls for their resignation.

The CBI on May 29 registered a case against unknown officials of Central Excise, Tamil Nadu government, Food Safety Department, public servants and private persons on charges of criminal conspiracy and for corruption following a direction of the Madras High Court on April 26.

Its probe relates to the illegal manufacture, import, supply, distribution and sale of gutkha and other forms of chewable tobacco which are banned in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry.

–IANS

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