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22 Mumbai customs officials arrested

At least 22 customs and excise department officials were among the 40 people from Mumbai arrested on Wednesday after police busted a party at an exclusive resort.

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They were found naked and drunk at Lonavla bungalow, say police

PUNE: In what is likely to cause a major embarrassment to the Indian Customs, 22 of its officials from Mumbai, including 12 class I officers (superintendents), were arrested after they were allegedly found partying naked and in an inebriated condition with call girls at a sprawling bungalow on the outskirts of Lonavla. The bungalow owner has been identified as Yusuf Memon, a Mumbai resident.

The arrests were carried out by the Pune rural police following a tip-off.

The other customs officials are all inspectors, police who produced the arrested before a local court at Wadgaon Maval on Wednesday afternoon, said.

The incident took place at the bungalow located at Angurla village, 2 km from Lonavla, behind Fariyas Hotel. All the arrested were released on a personal bond of Rs5,000 each by the court. 

The police also arrested 10 girls, a husband-wife duo, who are suspected to have organised the party, a driver, the caretaker of the bungalow and two other persons, who arranged the music at the party.

The revellers, most of whom police said were in an inebriated state and naked, were watching a porn film on a laptop when police swooped down on the bungalow at 10 minutes past midnight. The action continued till the wee hours of Wednesday. Police officials said they had shot the party proceedings.

Police have recovered cash, a laptop, several bottles of foreign liquor, packets of condoms and a music system, totally worth Rs1.26 lakh.

Police inspector Bhausaheb Andhalkar said the girls —most of them scantily dressed — and some of the customs officials were dancing to the blaring music.

A few of them were also found in a compromising position at the time of the raid, said police officials.

Andhalkar said the bungalow owner Yusuf Memon is a garment importer and exporter based in Mumbai.

Andhalkar told DNA that no prior permission was taken for the party.  

The officials had arrived from Mumbai in about 12 vehicles around 8 pm on Tuesday.

The class I (custom superintendents) have been identified as Shankaram Munda (50) of Bhandup; Santosh alias Gurucharan Rao (49), a resident of Dadar; Anwar Ismail Khan (52), a resident of Andheri (west); Bhaskar Hande (52) of Shiwadi (west), Mathew Mamen (54) of Marol; Mansuk Lingayat (56) of Thane (west); Omnarayan Krishna Murari (50) of Powai; Omprakash Pandey (45) of Mulund (west); Shivsingh Yadav (47) of Powai; Rajesh Dhone (40) of Custom quarters at Matunga; Rameshbabu Vangeti (44) of Powai; and Satish Uchchil (56) of Bandra (east).

The 10 custom inspectors have been identified as Ajaykumar Shanmugham (44) of Thane; Vinaykumar Nath (39) of Matunga; Anupam R D’Costa (39) of Matunga; Mahesh Jadhav (45) of Thane (west); Sabil Karunam (45) of Thane; Chandrakant More (50) of Kalyan (West); Vimalkumar Roy Soneja (42) of Vashi; Narendrakumar Raipuriya (31) of Powai; Ravichandran Kalpaiyya (42) of Powai; and Vijay Krishnakumar Raghavan (36) of Powai.

Police also arrested Vibhas Chaudhary (36) and his wife Sonu (21) of Kandivili, who organised the party, besides the driver Zakir Hussain Sayyed Yasin (25) of Kandivli, and the bungalow caretaker Mohammed Shafi Ali Khan (34) of Lonavla. The two other music system operators have been identified as Pankajkumar Mehta (32) and Dilip Parmar (23), both residents of Bandra.

All those arrested have been booked under section 294 (obscene acts and songs) of the Indian Penal Code and sections 33 (1), 110 and 112 of the Bombay Police Act.

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