The food safety and drug administration department is yet to identify the recipient of the 16-tonne cargo, comprising tobacco products, that was smuggled via rail on Saturday.

Officials seized the contraband at Central railway station on a train that had come in from Nizamuddin. Fifty-four parcels of banned tobacco products, the largest-ever consignment to be identified after the ban, were found.

The seized products are likely to be destroyed at the Kodungaiyur dumping yard.

A few weeks ago, 1,000 kg of such products that had been stored in various homes in Ayanavaram and Vadapalani were seized. Despite regular crackdowns on commercial establishments across the city, the sale of gutka and pan masala continues unabated, according to officials.

Ever since the ban on carcinogenic chewable tobacco products such as gutka and pan masala was announced in May, trains have been used to bring in these products to the State.

Under the ban, the manufacture, storage, distribution and sale of carcinogenic chewable forms of tobacco is forbidden in Tamil Nadu. 

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