The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has arrested a 20-year-old youth in Nashik, Maharashtra, for his alleged connection with a drug racket that was recently unearthed by the agency in Kolkata. The accused, Kamlesh Baste, who was arrested Wednesday, was brought to Kolkata on a three-day transit remand on Friday. He was produced before a Nashik court on Thursday. “NCB Kolkata’s zonal unit in association with their counterparts in Mumbai arrested the accused. He is involved in a drug racket that is already under probe,” said Dilip Srivastava, director of NCB, Kolkata zonal unit.
The NCB team seized 3 gm of MDMA, a psychoactive drug, after raiding the accused’s residence at Abhiyanta Nagar in Nashik. “He used to procure drugs through Dark Web and had sent over 100 consignments to cities including Kolkata, Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Noida through courier. He had national and international links, and the kingpin of this racket is presently based in Dubai,” said Srivastava.
All payment for drug consignments used to be made using virtual currencies like Bitcoins, sources said. The agency zeroed in on Baste after it tracked the courier number of a drug consignment, comprising LSD and MDMA, sent to Niloy Ghosh, who is the alleged kingpin of drug peddlers in Kolkata. Ghosh was arrested last year in December along with Jerome Watson, who used to allegedly supply drugs to college students and private parties.
As per sources, the courier was sent to Ghosh by Baste, but since Ghosh was arrested, it returned to DTDC. NCB officials then got in touch with DTDC, Nashik, to find out the sender. NCB sources said Baste studied up to Class XII and since the last two years he had been doing several courses to pursue foreign studies. He was introduced to drug trafficking by his former girlfriend, they added.
During the investigation, Kamlesh said that after Ghosh’s arrest, he had become very cautious and almost cleaned up his stock of drugs, sources said.