April 9, 2016 1:50:06 am
The crime branch on Friday claimed to have seized nearly 6.5 tonnes of cow and ox meat from Dharavi. The seizure, officers said, could be the largest in the state since the amended Maharashtra Animal Preservation Act, which banned the slaughter of cows, calves and oxen, came into effect last year.
According to the police, unit III of the crime branch raided the godown after receiving a tip-off about “illegal activity”.
Investigating officers claim they found the meat of cows and oxen being dried in the open there. What they believe to be “the insides and organs” of the cattle were also seized.
“As much as 6.5 tonne of meat belonging to cows and oxen has been seized, valued at nearly Rs 14 lakh. Three persons have been arrested,” said a Mumbai police spokesperson.
Police said that the premises raided belong to a meat export company called AQ Brothers and has been operational for the past eight years. Officers claimed it does not have proper licences, including the one issued by the civic body before the sale of cow meat was banned.
The accused have been identified as Shamshad Azad Quresh, the owner of company AQ Brothers, Ashrafali Qureshi, the facility’s supervisor, and Mohammed Sartaj Qureshi, who works there.
The trio has primarily been booked under relevant sections of the Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, 1995, for possession and transportation of banned meat.
Investigators claim that the meat was mainly packaged at the Dharavi unit after receiving it from states such as Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and the hinterlands of Maharashtra.
“AQ Brothers would package the meat and send it to clients in Vietnam, Philippines and Indonesia. We have not decided how much of the seized meat will be sent for forensic tests. The rest will be destroyed at the abattoir in Deonar,” said a senior crime branch officer.
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