February 4, 2021 8:25:54 pm
WHEN THE Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) arrested Arif Bhujwala, a notorious peddler of mephedrone in the city, and checked his mobile phone to find out more about his associates, they found his chats with several women, namely Sweta T and Aasifa among others. All the chats seemed to be similar in format and contained some common words that turned out to be code words.
As the NCB questioned Bhujwala about the chats, they came to know that only one person used to chat in the garb of various identities and that person was not even a woman. The person was identified as Mohammad Bilal alias Telwala.
Bilal fled from his Jogeshwari residence, leaving behind his two young children soon after the NCB arrested Bhujwala. One of his children suffers from a terminal illness. The agency is on the lookout for him. “As per our investigations, Bilal had been supplying narcotics to Bhujwala since 2019,” an official said.
An NCB official said Bilal is known to disguise his identity while operating. “He chatted with all of his suppliers posing as ‘Sweta’ or ‘Aasifa’. He obtained fake documents in the name of women to rent a godown where he would produce narcotics. A lot of people who worked with him for supply of narcotics or raw material did not even know that it was a man,” an official said.
The official added that Bilal was involved in exporting narcotics and they suspect that he was in touch with some foreign cartels as well. The NCB is aware of a case where Bilal was arrested by the Mumbai Anti-Narcotics Cell in 2011 for allegedly emptying boxes of cooking oil and refilling them with ketamine to be sent to the UK. He along with a clerk from the postal department was arrested from the postal colony at Andheri.
“Bilal changes his phone and SIM card frequently to avoid arrest. He uses code words while chatting with peddlers. Also, the tone of the chats is such that one would find it difficult to distinguish between the supplier and the receiver,” the officer added. Bilal is also known for making 100kg of drugs, valued at Rs 100 crore, within just 15 days. He is an extremely shrewd operator. We are on the look out for him and should nab him soon,” an officer said.
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