THE MAHARASHTRA Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Monday arrested five persons for their alleged involvement in the production and supply of mephedrone in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai. A total of 129 kg of the drug, valued at Rs 51.6 crore, was allegedly seized from the accused.
Acting on a tip-off, the ATS first arrested Abdul Razzak Kadar Shaikh (47) and Irfan Badar Shaikh (43) from near a bus stop in Bhandup on the Eastern Express Highway. They were allegedly carrying had nine kg of mephedrone, which they planned to supply to Suleiman Jauhar Shaikh (28) in Bandra.
After Suleiman was arrested, the ATS managed to trace the origin of the drugs to a laboratory at a remote forest in Navi Mumbai’s Panvel.
“We seized 120 kg of mephedrone and Rs 1.4 crore in cash at the laboratory on Tuesday,” said ATS Deputy Commissioner of Police Vikram Deshmane.
Two men who ran the laboratory — Naresh Maskar (28) and Jitendra Parmar (45) — were arrested. The ATS said that the duo, who ran a business together, had rented the premises to produce the drug. “They would procure chemicals from pharmaceutical companies and had employed labourers to produce mephedrone. They would keep shifting the location of the laboratories and would never stay at one place for more than six months,” said an official.
The laboratory was allegedly continuously manufacturing the drug and producing fresh batches that were sealed and packed for delivery every three to four days. The ATS said Parmar also bred ornamental fish and sold them at high prices.
The agency claimed that Maskar and Parmar had employed Abdul and Irfan to deliver the finished product to mephedrone distributors across Mumbai, Thane and Navi Mumbai.
With these arrests, the ATS claimed to have shut down one the biggest suppliers of mephedrone in Mumbai. “The accused would deliver batches of at least 10 kg of mephedrone to distributors regularly,” said the official.
On Tuesday, the accused were produced in court, which remanded them to police custody till September 16.