The Crime Branch of the Pune City Police Tuesday arrested a Nigerian national for allegedly possessing 130 gm cocaine. Officers said the contraband was estimated to be priced at Rs 6.5 lakh.
The accused was identified as Micheal Edison John (26), a resident of Vakratund Angan in Pimple Gurav.
According to the police, Additional Commissioner of Police (Crime) Ashok Morale received a tip-off, following which a team led by Inspector Rajendra Mohite and Sub-Inspector Nilesh Mahadik laid a trap and nabbed John in Bopodi area on Tuesday.
Police said during search, the team recovered a bag with 130 gm cocaine, estimated at Rs 6.5 lakh, from the accused along with Rs 37,500 cash, a motorcycle, a digital weighing machine and other items.
A case was registered under relevant sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act at the Khadki police station.
“The accused has a multiple-entry business visa. He was in India earlier between November 2018 and February 2019. Then he went away and came back in May and was in Pune since. He said he had a garment business. But he was arrested with cocaine in his possession and we are investigating whether he has links with the narcotics trade,” said Senior Inspector Anjum Bagwan of the Crime Branch.
The police said John was linked to a larger drug trade racket and a probe was on to know how he had procured the contraband and to whom he was planning to sell.
Last month, on September 22, the Narcotics Cell of the Customs Department, Pune, had arrested a Nigerian national, Samson Vincent Maxwell, a resident of Sai Ganga in Undri, for the alleged possession of 35.2 gm cocaine, estimated to be priced at Rs 2.81 lakh.
On September 20, the Crime Branch had arrested another Nigerian national, Uba Savior Godwin (30), a resident of Samarth Apartment in Pisoli, for the alleged possession of 200 gm cocaine, estimated to be priced at Rs 10 lakh. Godwin was earlier arrested by the Customs Department in 2013 in a similar offence and was later released on bail.
Also, on June 28, the crime branch of the Pune city police had arrested a Nigerian national, F Abdulaziz Andoi (47), at Baner, with possession of 440 grams of cocaine valued at 48,62,880. He was allegedly selling cocaine to high-profile persons in Baner, Aundh, Kondhwa, NIBM Road, Koregaon Park, Pune Camp, Kalya Nagar and other places in the city.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (Crime) Bachchan Singh told The Indian Express that the police were probing whether the accused in these cases had links with each other. “We have found some links and the investigation is on,” he said.
Apart from cases of naroctics trade, in another case last month, the cyber police station of the Pune city police had arrested two Nigerian nationals from Delhi in connection with an online fraud for allegedly cheated a woman who had uploaded her details on a matrimonial website. Police had identified the two accused persons as Godson William Osei (29) and Chukwuemeka Levi Mbanelo (27).
Also, in August this year, sleuths of the foreigner registration office (FRO) of the Pune city police special branch had nabbed a Nigerian national, Stanley Obiora Ibemere (30), from Kondhwa area for living illegally in India even after he was deported and blacklisted for a period of five years in 2017.
Police said that Stanley was deported and blacklisted on December 25, 2017, for a period of five years, but he procured another passport from Ghana and used it to return to India.
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