COIMBATORE: In what is touted as the biggest haul in past many months, the officials of the food safety department seized Rs 8 lakh worth banned tobacco products from a private omni bus in the city on Tuesday morning. The officials also impounded the bus.
Based on a tip-off, a team, led by designated officer of FSSAI Coimbatore B Vijayalalithambigai along with food safety officers K Chandran, S R Jerald and M Venkatesh, conducted a search and found banned gutka and chewable tobacco products being unloaded off a bus from Bengaluru near Nava India. The officials had been tailing the bus since 3.30 am on Tuesday.
“The entire banned gutka products would be sent to a lab in Madurai for analysis. We have also seized the bus since the vehicle was transporting the contraband for the second time on Tuesday. Despite our warnings, the bus driver transported the goods from Bengaluru for a dealer here,” Vijayalalithambigai told Express. She said that the members of Omni bus owners association had been instructed to transport goods only after getting entire details of the sender along with their Aaadhar number.
“Though we have not been able to find the sender, we traced a buyer and further investigation is on. A case has been registered under Food Safety and Standard Act 2006 section 59 (punishment for unsafe food). Currently, the seized products are with us and we will take action based on court orders,” she said.