From 30-year-old Suraj Ganesh Prasad, the Malwani police have learnt how dealers of Mephedrone, the newly-banned substance also called Meow Meow, are quickly altering their style of operations to evade arrest. Prasad, nabbed by the Malwani police last week, has told officers about an ‘electronic verification’ method that dealers are now using before delivering the contraband to customers.
According to the Malwani police, regular raids and traps on drug peddlers in the past few months have prompted the dealers to cross-verify all customers to avoid getting nabbed in police traps by policemen in disguise. Mephedrone is presently a rage among youngsters with the largest market in Mumbai. The drug reportedly offers speedy weight loss, lowered inhibition levels and the ability to function for long hours without sleep.
Inspector Amrut Pawar from the Malwani police station said that last week they had received a complaint from a man who had approached Prasad for ‘ganja’. Prasad asked him to try mephedrone. “Addiction can start after only one use, due to which the first sample of the contraband is given free to attract more customers,” said Pawar. However, realising that he had been given some dangerous drug, the complainant approached the police and gave them a tip-off on Prasad’s location.
During his questioning, Prasad reportedly said that once they are approached by the customer, peddlers note down his phone number and after a few hours, without informing the customer, give him a call. The customer is then called to a particular spot. Then the dealers make a second call to the customer, asking him to reach another spot. The MD consignment is handed over only after the customer’s identity is verified beyond a doubt.
On February 20, the Center notified mephedrone as a narcotic substance under the NDPS Act, 1985.
According to police officers, the Mumbai office of the Anti-Terrorists Squad (ATS) last July had initiated the process of getting the drug listed in the NDPS Act. The request had reportedly gone through the Director General of Police’s office, which forwarded the matter to the Maharashtra government.
On September 2, 2014, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) reportedly moved the request to the Finance Ministry’s Department of Revenue, which passed the decision on February 12.
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