Hyderabad: Police today busted a racket here of adulteration of spices and arrested 14 persons, including 11 traders, from various areas of the city in this connection.
Interestingly, information about the racket and the location of the unit was posted by someone on the Facebook page of Telangana DGP Anurag Sharma, who forwarded the same to the city Police Commissioner M Mahender Reddy for inquiry.
Accordingly, the police commissioner instructed the Task Force personnel to conduct raids on the unit, a release here said.
The adulteration unit was allegedly run by one Rajesh Gupta on premises rented out to him in February by a relative of former Congress MP Anjan Kumar Yadav at Chandrikapuram in the Hussaini Alam area, police said.
Police conducted raids and seized 1,057 bags — 108 bags of duplicate Pepper, 166 bags of Poppy, 125 bags of Cumin, (all duplicate), 20 bags of Papaya seeds, 40 bags of Rava, 127 bags of Maida, 5 bags of stone powder, besides 96 bags of original Pepper, 260 bags of poppy and 120 bags of cumin.
According to police, the racketeers allegedly used to mix hazardous chemicals and paints in the spices.
“Police also seized paint stainer, sodium hydrosulphate, iron oxide, glucose, synthetic gum, artificial fruit and arrested Gupta and 13 others, including 11 traders from the city,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police (South Zone) V Satyanarayana.
Gupta hails from Jalalabad tehsil in Shahjahanpur district of Uttar Pradesh, police said, adding that he had confessed to the crime.
The DCP said in the release that Gupta had started the unit for preparing adulterated spices like black pepper, poppy, cumin and shahjeera at Hussaini Alam and would sell the spurious goods to traders here and in the other parts of the country.
Police said that the adulterated spices contained highly- toxic materials such as sodium hydrosulphite and stone powder and other unapproved colour additives.
Starting 2012-2014, Gupta was also preparing spurious poppy and supplying the same to traders.
“He had hired around 25 youths for preparing the duplicate pepper, poppy, cumin and shahjeera,” the officer said.