February 13, 2021 1:45:21 am
WHEN THE Anti-Narcotics Cell (ANC) of Mumbai Police arrested Ayaz Mandiwala (46) on January 9, who was in possession of 150 grammes of mephedrone, they believed it to be a straightforward case of a peddler out for delivery. However, investigation revealed a twist in the tale; Mandiwala was not going to supply mephedrone to drug users, but had allegedly been paid to plant the contraband in the vehicle of an NCP member.
According to police, the politician had made enemies due to his frequent complaints about illegalities in building construction activities in south Mumbai area and the accused wanted him arrested in a drug bust. So far, police have made three arrests in the case and are on the lookout for two more.
A senior officer said that based on a tip-off about a person coming to supply mephedrone in south Mumbai, the Azad Maidan unit of the ANC had arrested Mandiwala. During his interrogation, Mandiwala named one Asif Sardar (49) who had allegedly supplied him the drug and asked him to plant it in a car belonging to the politician. Sardar was arrested on January 19.
The officer said that based on further interrogation, a third accused who had provided the narcotics to Sardar on January 26 was also arrested. His interrogation led to the names of two more persons that the ANC is likely to arrest soon.
“As per our investigation so far, it is clear that a meeting was held at the residence of the relative of a Dawood Ibrahim gang member. Several plans were discussed to deal with the NCP leader and it was decided to plant the narcotics in his vehicle and tip off the police,” the officer said.
“Some influential people in the locality were upset with the NCP leader for making frequent complaints against them. They had also attempted to talk to some senior leaders in the party, but it did not stop the complaints. Hence, they decided to implicate him in a narcotics case,” the officer added.
However, their plans came undone when the ANC, oblivious of the alleged plot against the NCP leader, nabbed Mandiwala for drug possession.
The officer further said that they are trying to verify if some builders, whose interests had been hurt by the complaints, were behind the alleged plot or if the conspiracy was at the level of property brokers who work for these builders.
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