Maharashtra police bust inter-state narco racket, seize drugs worth Rs 327 crore, arrest 15

Mumbai: The Maharashtra Police have cracked a major inter-state drug racket operating with mafia links in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh, seized drugs and related stuff worth Rs 327.69 crore, and nabbed 15 persons in connection with the case, officials said on Wednesday.

Mira Bhayander-Vasai Virar Commissioner of Police Madhukar Pandey told mediapersons that busting of the racket with underworld connections also led to the seizure of four weapons and several live cartridges from one of the accused in Palghar.

The seizures include Mephedrone drugs, raw materials, and other articles like vehicles from manufacturing dens in UP, Telangana, and cash from Gujarat.

Eight of the accused are from Uttar Prades, three each from Telangana and Maharashtra, and one from Gujarat, Pandey said.

The lid on the racket blew off when an investigation was launched on May 15 by the police after intercepting two persons in Vasai town (Palghar) at a checkpost in Chenagaon (Thane), and seized 1 kg Mephedrone worth Rs 2 crore from them.

Their sustained interrogation led to the unravelling of the tentacles of the massive racket spread in other states where police teams were rushed to probe.

One of the teams raided a manufacturing den at Narsapur in Telangana on May 17, seized 103 gm MD worth Rs 20.60 lakh and another 25 kg raw materials worth Rs 25 crore, besides arresting two persons.

The questioning led the police to an associate in the Goregaon suburb of Mumbai and seizure of MD worth Rs 14.38 crore, plus the arrest of another person from Varanasi.

The combined probe continued with the dragnet falling on a person at Padgha village in Thane, leading to seizures of raw materials worth nearly Rs 54,000.

Pandey said the probe teams have found that one person from Mumbai – who is still absconding – had allegedly transferred funds for the manufacture of drugs through an associate in Surat.

The other person was nabbed from Surat along with Rs 10.90 lakh cash, which was being remitted through traditional personal couriers called ‘Angadiyas’.

Accordingly, the police targeted their investigations to a couple of Angadiyas in south Mumbai from whom they seized Rs 6,80,000 that was delivered to them by the accused from Surat.

The probe led to the detection of an MD manufacturing unit in Jaunpur, UP, from where the police seized 300 kg of raw materials worth Rs 300 crore and nabbed three more persons on June 25, followed by three further arrests from Lucknow on June 25/26.

They tipped off the police about another associate operating from Nala Sopara in Palghar from whom the police recovered a revolver, 3 pistols, and 33 bullets, Pandey said.

The accused arrested in the entire scam over the past couple of months are — Shoaib H. Memon and Nicholas L. Tritus (both from Vasai in Palghar); Dayanand M. Mudanar alias Daya, Nasir J. Shaikh alias Baba (both from Telangana); Ghanshyam R. Saroj, Babu Taufiq Khan, M. Nadim Shafiq Khan, Ahmed Shah F.S. Azmi, Amir Taufiq Khan, M. Shadab Shamshad Khan, Alok Virendra Singh, and Shubham Narendra Pratapsingh alias Shbham (all from UP); Mohamed S. Moin (Mumbai); Bharat S. Jadhav alias Babu (Thane); and Murtuza M. Kothari alias Zulfikar (Surat).

Besides the 15, the two others nabbed are Mustafa Y. Furniturewala and Hussain M. Furniturewala, both ‘Angadiyas’ from whom the police seized Rs 6.80 lakh sent by an absconder accused named Salim Dola – who is allegedly linked to the Dawood Ibrahim gang.

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