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How Ephedrine was smuggled from Solapur firm: ‘CCTV cameras were removed, vehicles came in at odd hours’

Four security guards spill the beans as police file 350-page chargesheet

Written by Mohamed Thaver | Mumbai | Updated: August 5, 2016 2:29:02 am
Police with the ephedrine seized from Solapur. (Source: PTI/File) Police with the ephedrine seized from Solapur. (Source: PTI/File)

Four security guards who had been working at the Solapur-based pharma company Avon Lifesciences, which has been named in the Ephedrine smuggling racket, have provided details to the police of how drugs were allegedly diverted and how those handling the company’s affairs operated in a highly secretive manner and smuggled Ephedrine out of the firm in the months leading to their arrests by Thane police.

The guards had fled to their native place soon after police raided the company, and were tracked down later. Their statements are part of the nearly 350-page chargesheet filed by police before a special NDPS court in Thane last week. The Indian Express has reviewed the chargesheet.

Police have arrested 10 people so far, including Jay Mukhi, and named seven people including Kulkarni and druglord Vicky Goswami as wanted in the case.

Police said the accused had planned to use Ephedrine, a controlled substance, from Avon Lifesciences, to cook party drug Meth. The Ephedrine from Avon Lifesciences was to be diverted to Kenya where it was to be used to cook Meth, which in turn was supposed to be sold in the United States.

The guards, in their statements, have given details of how Punit Shringi, who was made in-charge of the company, allegedly ensured that some CCTV cameras installed in the company were taken off so that their activities could not be captured.

The guards also mentioned how despite the company being shut, Shringi, along with the other accused, often visited it at odd hours.

According to them, vehicles and tempos came to the company at odd hours, carrying ‘some material’ from the company. In his statement, a 28-year-old security guard mentions, “Despite the company being shut, Dimri and Dhyaneshwar Swami (both arrested accused), along with four to five people, would be working at the laboratory on the instructions of Shringi.”

“Shringi’s car would sometimes come to the company at

6 pm after the others had left… Whenever he got his car, he would ask us to leave the spot. However, we did see that Shringi, along with Dimri and Swami, would take some black coloured bags from the laboratory and put it in his car. We saw this happen at least 3-4 times,” the statement added.

The statement cites another instance of the accused getting a tempo into the premises of the company and smuggling out Ephedrine.

The police believe that this was the Ephedrine that was being smuggled out of the country to be displayed before Kenya-based international drug lord Vicky Goswami.

According to the statements of the security guards, such

was the level of secrecy that once, when one of them “complimented” Shringi for ensuring that the entire company was clean by selling scrap, the latter lost his temper and shouted at him.

The security guard said, “He (Shringi) asked me to do my work and not be interested in what he is doing, or else he would remove me from the job. Ever since I got pretty scared of him,” the statement reads.

mohamed.thaver@expressindia.com

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