Biggest-ever seizure in city in terms of value,claims Anti-Narcotics Cell; 4 arrested.
In the biggest-ever cocaine seizure in the city in terms of value,the Anti-Narcotics Cell (ANC) of the Pune police on Wednesday seized 520 gram of the contraband in crystal form,estimated to be Rs 52 lakh in the Indian market and worth five times more in the international market.
The drug was seized from four persons,two of whom allegedly smuggled it from Mathura in Uttar Pradesh on April 28.
The ANC had received a tip-off that a large consignment of cocaine was arriving in Pune from Uttar Pradesh on April 28 and further information from police informants revealed that three persons had brought about half-a-kg cocaine into the city and were staying at Indori village near Talegaon Dabhade,along with two accomplices.
There was also information that the contraband was to be sold to one Ali Saudagar of Patil Estate,who is known in police files as a notorious drug-peddler.
Around 2 pm on Wednesday,four persons matching the description given to police by the informants were spotted in front of a lodge near Shivajinagar bus-stand and were arrested. They were identified as Sajid Khan (35),Samsulhasan Kamaruddin Saifee (20),Rajji Liaqat Ansari (37) and Irfan Shamsuddin Khan (27),all from UP. Sajid and Samsulhasan are from Sambhal district of UP,while Rajji Liaqat Ansari and Shamsuddin run a bakery near Talegaon Dabhade in Pune.
Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Shahaji Solunke said,Another accomplice,Hashmat Ali Khan alias Master,managed to flee from Talegaon Dabhade. Our teams are searching for him,
Inspector Sunil Tambe,said,The seized cocaine is in pure crystal form. Peddlers mix it with some alkaline substance before delivery to customers.
Police said Ali Saudagar who was supposed to receive the consignment is at large.
Earlier,a team led by Tambe,whose informant network was instrumental in Wednesdays haul,had seized 610 gram cocaine worth Rs 30.5 lakh in the Indian market.
Solunke added,As of now we do not know where it was to be distributed in the city. We have some links and are working on them. Sajid Khan is prima facie the kingpin and the main dealer. Interrogation of the suspects and further probe are needed to confirm this.
Police said Saudagar has several cases registered against him and has been on the run for long.
The investigation was supervised by additional commissioner Sulunke and DCP Sanjay Shinde. The investigating team led by Tambe comprised assistant police inspector Vinod Patil,constables Kunal Mane,Rakesh Gujar,Vinayak Jadhav,Ashok Pernekar,Arun Gaud,Yashwant Newase,Rajendra Barshinge,Dnyandeo Ghanwat,Ramdas Jadhav,Vasudev Patil and Kruishna Nidhalkar.
First major seizure in crystalline form
Inspector Sunil Tambe said,This is the first major seizure of cocaine in the crystalline form. It costs Rs 1 lakh per 10 gram in the Indian market and five times that in the international market. The suspects were carrying it in neatly wrapped package of a different paper to avoid its vaporization due to heat.
51 arrested in 31 cases since Jan
Since January,the ANC has seized narcotics worth Rs 1.1 crore in 31 cases and arrested 51 persons. The seized contraband include marijuana,brown sugar,lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD),charas and cocaine.