Drug ring busted in Thane extends to Europe, Africa

Cops have put out a Red Corner notice for the three alleged kingpins who frequently travelled to foreign countries

It was the arrest of two Thane men that pointed the police to a pharma company in Solapur, where they seized nearly 20,000 kg of the narcotic ephedrine. This in turn put the Thane police on the trail of three key players who have stretched the drug ring all the way to Europe and Africa. A Red Corner notice has now been put out on the Interpol for these three men who would frequently travel abroad to expand the operation.

Punit Sringi
Punit Sringi

The three accused being searched by the Thane and Gujarat police are Kishor Singh Rathod (son of former Congress MLA Bhavsingh Rathod), Jay Mukhi and the operations boss, Punit Sringi.

mid-day had reported that the racket was exposed on April 12, after Thane cops arrested two men smuggling drugs. The duo led them to a middle man who would source the drugs from the Solapur factory of pharmaceutical company Avon Life Sciences. It was there that the cops seized nearly 20,000 kg of ephedrine worth R2,000 crore, and then arrested a senior official. Since then, the police have learnt that one of the three leaders of the racket — Punit — was leading the secret drugs ring from the factory, but they are still investigating how he is connected to the pharma company.

“We had arrested four people earlier and during the investigation, we found links to the three kingpins involved in the case, who are now absconding. We found that in the past few months, all three had visited various countries around 30 times. They mostly travelled to countries like Nigeria in Africa and other places in southeast Europe, where the demand is high for such drugs. We have issued a Red Corner notice against them and are using all procedures to put them behind bars. We suspect all the three accused are hidden at the same place,” said Thane Commissioner of Police Param Bir Singh.

“There are five directors of the firm, two of whom are active directors. We have sent summons to the directors for questioning and are probing their involvement in the case. “We also found that Punit was made the head of the drugs operation and was managing the smuggling from the company. Whether Punit was directly liaisoning with the directors is still being investigated. The Food Drugs and Administration is also conducting a parallel investigation and its reports will comprise vital evidence in the case,” added the CP.

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