In a major seizure of contraband drugs,the anti-narcotics cell of Pune police seized 390 kg of marijuana balls worth Rs 32 lakh. The police have arrested a trader from Pimpri in this connection. The police said the drugs were smuggled from Madhya Pradesh and were being sold in small packets at small stalls,paan shops that have labourers,college students and IT professionals as customers.
Working on tip off from an informants,Lalchand Arjundas Ramnani (51),a trader from Pimpri Camp was identified as a suspect. A trap was laid by a team led by inspector Sunil Tambe and assistant inspector Vinod Patil. The police raided a room in a dharmashala on River Road in Pimpri and seized marijuana balls packed in packets with different brand names.
They are selling it at paan shops,small tea stalls. It is known among traders as Tarang. Based on the information that we have received from the arrested suspect,these balls are little bigger than a medicinal capsule and are being sold at Rs 20 each. We now know that it has a customer base among labourers,college students and IT professionals, said Inspector Tambe.
He said,Different brands of tarang have different flavours and varied ingredients. We suspect some of its brands have opium content also. We have sent all the samples to the forensic sciences laboratory for chemical analysis.
API Vinod Patil said,The suspect has told us that the contraband was smuggled to Pune from MP. We have launched a search operation for Ramnanis accomplices. He is one of the important dealers of this type of contraband in the city. He has been booked under sections of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act and remanded to police custody for six days. It is the biggest seizure till date. Since January 2012,the police have made 20 seizures of Tarang.
Inspector Tambe said,We have information that many students are getting addicted to this substance. After consumption of one or two pills,the effect remains for at least five to six hours. The drug has a severe long-term effects on health.
The investigation was done under the guidance of DCP Sanjay Shinde and ACP Gopinath Patil. The probe team comprised constables Ashok Pernekar,Aslam Shaikh,Ramdas Jadhav,Vasudev Patil,Kunal Mane,Vinayak Jadhav and others.
Rise in seizures
The anti-narcotics cell has seized drugs worth Rs 1.92 crore this year so far as compared to Rs 70 lakh last year. The police have seized large quantities of cocaine and marijuana this year compared to last year. A total of 89 peddlers have been arrested,including some foreign nationals.