January 25, 2021 11:10:00 pm
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Monday arrested absconding drug supplier Arif Bhujwala, who had been on the run since January 20 when the NCB had raided his Dongri residence, from Raigad. Bhujwala is touted to be one of the largest suppliers of Methamphetamine in the city and is believed to be in touch with drug suppliers linked to gangster Dawood Ibrahim.
The NCB had raided his residence on January 20 after interrogation of Chinku Pathan, the relative of yesteryear don Karim Lala. Bhujwala, however, managed to flee from his house. So far, five persons including Pathan have been arrested in a drug case.
An officer said that they received a tip off that Bhujwala had been hiding at a friend’s residence at Mangaon town in Raigad district along with two others. Based on the input, the NCB team along with the local police raided the residence and detained the trio. The agency is checking the antecedents of the driver and another person, who were found to be accompanying Bhujwala. “Bhujwala will be placed under arrest and produced before the court tomorrow,” an NCB official said.
An official said that Bhujwala had escaped from the fifth floor residence in Dongri with the help of a pipe like structure he had built for escaping and had driven off in a vehicle outside. “Even his wallet and slippers were left behind. We just missed him by a bit,” an official said. For two days he travelled before asking one of his drug peddlers to host him at his Raigad residence where he could hide.
The official said that Bhujwala had been to Dubai twice and had met Kailash Rajput, one of the biggest drug suppliers in the country. Rajput, who is known to be close to Dawood Ibrahim, had been arrested in 2013 and was released on bail in 2015 after which he fled the country. Apart from India, Rajput is known to have a network in UAE, UK and Germany. The DRI has also issued a lookout notice against him.
“Rajput is known to be holed up in some foreign country. With the arrest of Bhujwala, we are hoping to get some leads about the location of Rajput as well,” the official added.
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