January 22, 2021 12:27:48 am
The drug trafficking network busted by Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Wednesday was a smooth and efficient operation run with the help of CCTV camera network and digital combination door lock at a “clandestine” laboratory in the city to keep prying eyes away.
On Wednesday, the NCB claimed to have busted the racket, and arrested Parvez Khan alias Chinku Pathan, who is related to underworld don Karim Lala active in Mumbai during the 1970s and 1980s, police said.
According to police, Khan and another man, identified as Arif Bhujwala, who escaped during the raid, were major kingpins of the drug network that supplied synthetic drugs like mephedrone.
Police said Bhujwala ran this clandestine drug laboratory at a building in Dongri from where Rs 2.18 crore cash was recovered in addition to narcotics and a firearm.
The NCB team, led by zonal director Sameer Wankhede, on Wednesday raided the Pathan’s residence at Ghansoli. The agency recovered one 9MM blank pistol along with heroin and mephedrone, while Pathan and his associate Zakir Shaikh were arrested and brought in for questioning, police added.
Based on their interrogation, police raided Bhujwala’s residence at Noor Manzil building in Dongri on Wednesday evening following which the search went on till the early hours of Thursday.
“Somebody tipped off Bhujwala, who fled from there. But we found one revolver and unaccounted cash worth Rs 2.18 crore believed to be sale proceeds of the illegal drug trafficking network run from his residence,” an official said.
The official added that while Bhujwala lived on the fifth floor, there was a laboratory that he was operating on the fourth floor where synthetic drugs were made.
The NCB said it found 5.69 kg mephedrone, 1 kg methamphetamine commercial quantity and 6.126 kg ephedrine at the laboratory along with a massive stash of packing material, different utensils, weighing machines and other apparatus used to manufacture illegal drugs.
“The laboratory had a digital combination lock whose code was only known to his employees. We also found a network of nearly 17 CCTV cameras in the building, so that he would be prepared in case of a raid,” the official added.
Bhujwala, who is well connected to drug traffickers in Dubai as per the agency, was linked to a fugitive drug supplier wanted in India in connection with several drug seizures, police said.
A central agency also issued a look-out circular (LOC) against him, while police believe this fugitive drug supplier is the link between Bhujwala and Dawood’s gang. The NCB is also in the process of issuing an LOC against Bhujwala to ensure he does not manage to flee the country.
In a parallel raid, Rahul Kumar Verma, a DJ and rapper by profession, was also intercepted from Bhiwandi. Police said he was suspected to be one of the suppliers of mephedrone to Pathan.
“This was a big achievement since, in the past, when police would go there, they were attacked. We have also found some diaries at Bhujwala’s residence and that should also help us understand the quantity of drugs manufactured and trafficked,” the official added.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines