KOCHI: In a joint operation, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and the Excise Department on Saturday arrested a Tamil Nadu native for smuggling banned tobacco products worth `4.5 lakh to Kerala. The arrested is Sherif, 42, hailing from Coimbatore.
He was travelling from Coimbatore to Ernakulam in Tea Garden Express (Karaikal-Ernakulam Express) when the sleuths nabbed him. He was smuggling three bundles of hans under the pretext of textile items, said RPF SI Sooraj S Kumar.
“There were 9,000 packets in the carton. The market price of one packet is `50. This the third time Sherif is smuggling banned tobacco products to Kochi. He used to supply it to small shops at Kakkanad last time,” said P L Jose, Circle-Inspector, Excise Department.