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MUMBAI: A gambling racket operating from a hotel on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad national highway at Vasai was busted on Friday.
Acting on a tip-off that gamblers from Mumbai, Gujarat and Thane were gathering on an open plot belonging to the hotel despite the lockdown, the Palghar local crime branch raided the place in the wee hours. The local Valiv police were caught unaware.
A total of 34 men, including gamblers, were arrested from the spot at Maljipada. While the men were spotted in masks, there was no social distancing followed. Police recovered cash and goods worth Rs 11 lakh. Police said that a line of cars parked outside the hotel caught the attention of a police informer who alerted the crime branch sleuths.
Police said that those arrested had come from Mankhurd, Vile Parle, Ghatkopar, Andheri, Dahisar, Mira-Bhayander, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan, Surat, Vapi and Valsad. They were playing the card game ‘Teen Patti’. They have been booked under sections 188(disobedience),269(spread of infection) of IPC, Disaster Management Act and Maharashtra Prevention of Gambling Act. They were later released on bail by the Vasai court.
An enquiry will be conducted against the Valiv police for not taking action against the gambling.

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