A 29-year-old man, who worked as an assistant to a notorious drug-maker, was operating a chemical plant in Purandar taluka of Pune district which the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) raided last week, officials said. In December last year, the state ATS had arrested Santosh Adake (29) along with Mahendra Patil (49) for trafficking 14.3-kg mephedrone. While their interrogation yielded little information, during a probe into the bank accounts of Adake the ATS had noted that several payments were made to some chemical suppliers in Pune.
Subsequent questioning of these suppliers had led investigators to Shree Alfa Chemical at Dive village in Purandar taluka of Pune district. On February 19, Juhu unit of the state ATS had raided the chemical factory and seized 10.5-kg mephedrone worth Rs 4.2 crore. ATS also seized huge quantities of raw material that could produce around 250-300 kg of the drug worth over Rs 100 crore, officials said.
Inspector Daya Nayak of the ATS, who had led the raid, said, “In the past, we have observed that such contraband is produced at plants which also make other chemical products. But this entire unit at Dive village was manufacturing only mephedrone and nothing else. We are now probing supply and distribution chains. More arrests are likely.”
Officials believe that the drugs manufactured at the unit were sold at various cities, including Pune and Mumbai, besides in nearby states. During the initial probe, officials have also found that Adake had started operations in mephedrone around July last year and had rented the facility that was earlier manufacturing other chemicals.
According to officials, Adake used to work as an assistant to Sardar Patil (29) alias ‘Doctor’, who was arrested in September last year for allegedly producing mephedrone in labs at Panvel and Sangli. Patil is currently in judicial custody. Both Patil, a science graduate, and Adake, a college dropout, are natives of adjacent villages in Sangli, officials said, and are believed to have come in contact there.
Officials believe Adake learned the ‘science and art’ of mephedrone making while working as an assistant to Patil. While Adake is suspected to have started working towards operating alone while still with Patil, after the latter was arrested last year the 29 year old allegedly went solo.
Officials said Patil had learnt about synthesising various narcotic drugs from some foreign experts at a large drug-making unit in Sangli owned by a transport baron, which was busted by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence in 2015. Meanwhile, officials Monday said that the racket had visible parallels with the premise of an American television drama ‘Breaking Bad’ that revolves around a high school teacher-turned-drug-maker Walter White and his former student and later lab assistant Jesse Pinkman. The series, released between 2008 and 2013, had won Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama.
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