The Anti-Narcotics Cell of the Crime Branch arrested four men for allegedly possessing Fentanyl, a banned drug, worth Rs 1,000 crore in Vakola, Santacruz (East) on Wednesday. The accused has been identified as Salim Dola, Ghanshyam Saroj and brothers Chandramani and Sandeep Tiwari. The sleuths seized four drums filled with the drug from them.
Fentanyl, an opioid, is commonly used as an anesthetic to relieve pain but also abused for recreation purpose. A banned drug under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS), one kg of the drug reportedly sells for Rs 10 crore in the international market, an official said.
Of the men caught on Wednesday, Dola was previously arrested in drug-related cases by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence and the Narcotics Control Bureau in Delhi, where he is currently facing trial. He was also acquitted by a court in Mumbai in 2016 in connection with a seizure of 79 kg charas.
The accused were produced in court on Wednesday and remanded to police custody till January 1. However, they claimed to have stated in their defence that the substance seized from them isn’t Fentanyl and that they have valid invoices for it’s purchase.
This is the second case of Fentanyl seizure in the last two months, with the DRI arresting three men, including a Mexican national in Indore in October.