The arrest of Paulraj Duraiswami Padiachi alias Paul, the alleged source of Meow Meow drugs obtained by Manikan Samuel, who then sold them to Shashikala alias Baby Patankar, was the result of a week-long chase in South India in collaboration with the Narcotics Control Bureau, Mumbai Police Crime Branch officials said on Friday.
Padiachi, a Mumbai-based drug peddler and a native of Trichy in Tamil Nadu, was arrested from Trichy on Thursday by a team of Crime Branch officials. He is the latest to be arrested in connection with the alleged nexus between Patankar and dismissed police head constable Dharmaraj Kalokhe who was arrested for possession of mephedrone in March this year.
“Our team first went to Trichy in search of Padiachi as he hails from there. However, he had got wind of the fact that we were on his trail and had fled the city. We then followed some leads and went to Kanyakumari where once again, we missed him. After following him to a couple of other neighbouring locations, the team went back to Trichy where he was finally caught. The NCB helped us in this chase in terms of information,” said Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) Atulchandra Kulkarni.
Officials said that Padiachi’s arrest was significant as a link in the Kalokhe-Patankar-Samuel supply chain of mephedrone and also in connection with the mephedrone trade in Mumbai. Sources said that while Samuel and Patankar both procured and sold the drugs at a local level, Padiachi was the one who procured it from outside Mumbai and sold it in the city. His interrogation is likely to lead to insights about the influx of mephedrone in the city.
“Padiachi has been in the drug trade from 2001 at least. We have information that he was arrested twice before, but we are verifying it. Investigations have revealed that Patankar too knew Padiachi, but as the drug trade operates on trust, Samuel was retained as the middleman,” said Kulkarni.
Padiachi was produced in court on Friday and remanded to Crime Branch’s custody till May 19.
Inquiries were made about 15 policemen whose names had cropped up during Patankar and Samuel’s interrogation, added Kulkarni.