Three men were held with 500 kg of cannabis in Vikhroli on Tuesday. The drugs, transported in a pick-up truck, were concealed below sacks of onions. The Anti-Narcotics Cell (ANC) of Mumbai Police intercepted the truck on a service road below the Eastern Freeway in Vikhroli. Sanjay Mohite (36) of Malegaon, the driver of the truck, his uncle Nandlal Beldar (55) from Jalgaon and Nashik-based autorickshaw driver Kalu Mohite (28), were arrested.
The police said the men had picked up the cannabis near the Maharashtra-Telangana border and loaded it in the truck. ANC officials said that the sacks containing rotten onions were laid on top of the bags in which the cannabis was stored. “The smell of the onions masked that of the cannabis,” said the official. The accused, said the police, had been making trips to Mumbai every two months to distribute the drug to local peddlers. “They had made at least four trips in the past and had brought 100 kg of cannabis each time. This is the first time that such a large consignment has been seized in Mumbai,” said the official.
Shivdeep Lande, Deputy Commissioner of Police, ANC, said the seized drug, which are valued at Rs 1 crore in the international market, is the biggest haul of cannabis in Mumbai. In June 2017, the ANC arrested four people in Malad with 23 kg of cannabis worth Rs 2.3 lakh. The gang allegedly sent minors to Maharashtra’s border districts to pick up the cannabis and bring it to Mumbai.
In September 2016, two men from Odisha were held with 30 kg of cannabis. The men had allegedly brought the drug with them from Maoist-affected Ganjam district.