AT LEAST 70 phone numbers of high-profile people, including actors and people associated with the Telugu film industry, as well as television stars and business executives, among others, have been found in the contact list of the cellphone seized from alleged drug dealer Calvin Mascaranhes, according to officials. Of 1,246 contacts in the phonebook, more than 500 are those of college and school students, it is learnt.
Officials of Telangana Excise and Prohibition (Enforcement) Department said WhatsApp and text messages found in phones of Calvin and another alleged peddler, Zeeshan Ali Shaikh, relate to orders for LSD dots (Lysergic acid diethylamide) and Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) — commonly called acid and molly or molecule. The demand, according to them, came from some high-profile clients, which prompted another investigation.
They are being served notices to appear before the SIT and record their statements. Excise (Enforcement) Director Akun Sabharwal confirmed that 11 people, including actors and a top director, who were issued notices on Friday had placed orders through WhatsApp and text messages.
Calvin and Zeeshan are among 14 alleged drug peddlers arrested so far after the Telangana Prohibition and Excise (Enforcement) Department claimed to have busted a racket with Calvin’s arrest on July 4. Calvin and Zeeshan are suspected to be the main suppliers to Tollywood, as the Telugu film industry is called. Officials claimed that some people associated with the film industry in neighbouring Tamil Nadu and Karnataka may also be on their client list.
“None of them (film industry clients) directly collected drugs from Calvin, or the other peddlers we have arrested. They used to send aides such as drivers or assistants to collect it,” an official said. “Their phone numbers are in the phonebook (of handsets seized) — we have call data and text message records.”
Officials said that the Hyderabad Police had arrested a Nigerian national in 2000 for allegedly supplying heroin and cocaine to some Tollywood personalities. These accused had named several alleged clients, whose names are emerging in the phonebooks of suspected peddlers arrested over the last two weeks.