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22 officials, 11 dancers held at Khandala party
Published on 28 Aug. 2008 12:34 AM IST
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At least 22 customs and excise department officials were among the 40 people from Mumbai arrested Wednesday after police busted a party at an exclusive resort in Maharashtra's famous hill station Khandala. The early morning raid also led to the arrest of 11 dancers and seven musicians. They have been charged with drinking without a licence and under various sections of law related to prostitution, said the police. The head of Lonavala police station S. Darekar told IANS that a trap was laid Tuesday evening following a tip-off that several vehicles carrying the dancers and some government officials were expected to reach the Taj Cottages, a private bungalow resort. By 6 p.m. Tuesday, several vehicles and a mini-bus carrying the officials and dancers arrived at the two-storey bungalow. The party started soon after, said inspector D. Hole, a member of the investigating team. The police team raided the party shortly after midnight. A member of the police team said many participants at the party were in various stages of undress. Darekar said the customs and excise department officials work in different departments, mostly in and around, or connected with the Mumbai airport. Police said Raju Bibbas Bharundev Choudhary, considered a rave party specialist, organised Tuesday night's party. He had been arrested last year in connection with a Pune rave party from where several college students and upcoming models were also nabbed. The police also said the dancers had been brought by Sony Choudhary, a former dancer at a bar in Kandivli, a northwest Mumbai suburb. According to Darekar, Taj Cottages belongs to Mohammed Yusuf, a garment exporter based in Mumbai. It is hired out for private parties. He alleged that police recovered nearly Rs.80,000 in cash that was showered on the dancers by the government officials. He pointed out that most of those arrested did not possess a valid licence to consume alcohol, a must in Maharashtra. Darekar said the bungalow was being searched to find whether narcotics were used.

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