The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) seized around 50 kilogram of synthetic drug Mephedrone from a car at Urse toll booth on Pune-Mumbai Expressway on Monday.
Mephedrone — a substance of the amphetamine class — was included under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) in the first week of February this year. And the first major seizure was made in Delhi in February, where a consignment of 500 kilogram of Mephedrone loaded from Kurduwadi in Solapur district in Maharashtra was seized from a truck which was carrying Papaya as cover.
On Monday DRI sleuths, based on an intelligence input, intercepted a Toyota Etios car at Urse toll booth and seized 50 kilograms of Mephedrone worth Rs 3 crore from the car.
“We have primary inputs about source of the contraband and where it was being taken. But that information is yet to be verified. So it will be premature to reveal any details. We are trying to reach the source and probe in that direction is on,” said a DRI official on the condition on anonymity.
The official added, “This drug of methamphetamine category is known to be party drug. It is also called ‘Meow Meow.’ It is popular in the West and is becoming one for India too. It is cheaper than cocaine and can be manufactured from precursors available in pharmaceutical market. It is extremely addictive and has several side effects.”
The official said, “One of the reasons of concern for investigating agencies is that these drugs are being manufactured in smaller units in several places. The methods of chemically producing these drugs — or ‘cooking’ as it referred to in the West — are available on the Internet. Agencies have started crackdown on precursors but these actions are not enough.”
After the seizure in Delhi in February, DRI had identified the unit in Solapur where the drug was being manufactured. The drug is also smuggled from India to Western countries.
2 engineering students held in Mumbai with Mephedrone
Two engineering diploma students from Pune were arrested from Bandra in Mumbai last week for possession of Mephedrone bought from a peddler to be sold in Pune.
Suspects, Aman Shaikh (27) and Asif Sayyed (25), were arrested while carrying the drugs to Pune in a car.
A team of inspector R Dhawale and sub inspector Sushant Patil made the arrests. Police seized 210 gram of the drug.
Assistant commissioner of police (Bandra Division) Shivaji Kolekar told this paper, “We have arrested the peddler from whom the two had bought the contraband. Our probe revealed that the two had come from Pune in a Honda City just to purchase the drug.”
A senior police officer added, “De-addiction centres in Mumbai have had several cases of Mephedrone addiction till date and we know that its use is growing. We have come to know college students are falling prey to this drug because it is cheap and acts as stimulant.”