November 4, 2009 11:37:41 pm
The anti-narcotics cell (ANC) of the Mumbai police has arrested six members,including a woman,of a drug-smuggling ring and seized 1,240 kg (12.5 quintals) of ganja worth Rs 24.8 lakh from them.
The woman member,Shahida Sultana Sheikh (34) alias Simran,is suspected to have floated the gang a few months ago after her drug-dealer boyfriend had left her. She allegedly began networking with his contacts to procure drugs from Hyderabad.
On Sunday morning,based on a tip-off about a huge consignment of ganja entering the city,Deputy Commissioner of Police (ANC) Sunil Paraskar,Additonal Commissioner of Police (Crime) Deven Bharati and their teams laid a trap at Vashi checkpost.
Around midnight,a truck bearing a Chhattisgarh number-plate arrived and the officers discovered a cavity behind the drivers seat in a search. We found 142 bales of ganja weighing 710 kg from the cavity and immediately arrested driver Balwinder Kala (45),a resident of Hoshiarpur in Punjab,and truck owner Gurmailsingh Hansraj (62),a resident of Chhattisgarh. Hansraj is a retired government servant. After he retired from the Transport Department of Chhattisgarh,he had bought a truck, said Joint Commissioner of Police,Crime,Rakesh Maria.
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They had come to receive a consignment. After interrogation,Hansraj confessed that earlier too one Raju alias Ramreddy from Hyderabad and one Ravi from Kanyakumari had given him similar consignments to take to Mumbai. Hansraj revealed that the drugs were hidden in a godown in Bhoisar,Thane,and after a raid we were able to recover 430 kg ganja from there, Maria said.
Further investigation revealed that Sheikh was instrumental in starting the racket a couple of months ago. Sheikh had a boyfriend named Shripad who would often go to deliver drugs to Hyderabad and take her with him as a cover. However,a few months ago,he left her and then Sheikh began to network with his drug-dealer friends and began dealing in drugs. Two months ago,she had received a consignment of 1,800 kg ganja that she kept hidden in the godown,of which we could recover 430 kg,while the rest have already been distributed.
Apart from Shahida Sheikh,the arrested include Sajid Jacqueline Rose (34),a resident of Kanyakumari now staying in Bhoisar,Thane,and Rinku Singh (32),originally from Bihar,and Biju Nadar (37) of Kanyakumari. The accused have been booked under the Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances Act and remanded in police custody till November 8.
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