MUMBAI : The next time the local street food vendor is adding dollops of butter in your favourite pav bhaji, and also giving extra butter to the bread, please be beware. It could  be spurious butter, as the  Thane Rural police raided a factory located in Vishal Industrial Estate, in Thane-Ghodbunder road and seized a huge tonne (1,000 kg) of spurious "Amul" butter and arrested the owner, Manoj Agrawal and five others for adulteration.

The raid conducted by Atul Kulkarni, Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Bhayander on late Tuesday night at a time, when the production was in full swing. We raided the unit on a tipoff and seized the spurious butter,said Kulkarni. The unit "manufactured" around 500 kg adulterated butter daily,depending on the "demand"  and would be supplied to road side food vendors, like pav bhaji, butter chicken, dosa and other food stalls in Mumbai, Mira-Bhayander, Borivali, Dahisar, Vile Parle  and other areas,where the demand for street food is more,said police. In fact, Kashimira is the "butter hub" of the Thane district, where the spurious butter was manufactured,said police sources.

We seized fake"Amul" packing materials, butter paper bearing the "Amul" brand logo, and other articles, including machineries which manufactured the spurious butter,said Kulkarni. The spurious butter was packed in original boxes of the Amul brand and stored and then sold to the food vendors on the road,said Kulkarni. Each slab of 500 gm of fake Amul butter was sold at around Rs 80 each,said police source.

According to police sources, the adulterators would use Sri Lankan vanaspati oil as it is cheap, and then wrap the fake butter in cheap butter paper and pack in genuine Amul butter boxes and store in deep freezers, and the butter would become slabs and then sold to the food vendors. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have taken samples of the spurious butter for testing and we are in the lookout for other gang members involved in the manufacture and sale of fake butter,said Kulkarni. We are investigating as to how could the accused would get hold of the original Amul corrugated boxes used for packing the spurious butter,said Kulkarni.

The same night (Tuesday) the Thane Rural police also raided a godown owned by the ration mafia and seized around 30 trucks of food grains and also we raided Rs 1 crore worth gutkha by our team, said Kulkarni.