Drug peddler Shashikala alias Baby Patankar, held in connection with seizure of contraband mephedrone last month, has amassed huge property and valuables since she entered narcotics trade 15 years ago.

The 52-year-old has bought real estate not only in upscale Worli in central Mumbai, but also Lonavala (a popular hill station about 120 kms from here) and Pune, police said today. "She has over 10 tenements in Worli, a bungalow in Lonavala and a house in Pune," said Dhananjay Kulkarni, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Detection-Crime Branch).

Baby Ramesh Patankar

"Besides possessing other valuables, she has purchased gold in good amount. We are in process of recovering these valuables and ascertaining their worth," added Kulkarni. Patankar, after being on the run for over 40 days, was arrested yesterday from adjoining Navi Mumbai.

Police were looking for her since the alleged recovery of 12 kg of mephedrone, also called meow meow, from a Constable's cupboard in Marine Drive Police Station in South Mumbai. She is in police custody till April 28. Dharmaraj Kalokhe, the Constable arrested last month and later dismissed from service, is the prime accused in the drug trade case.

Patankar was in a relationship with Kalokhe, but their ties had soured since the last few months, Kulkarni said. "Kalokhe suspected Shashikala's character and at a few occasions, he assaulted her also. They had also developed severe disagreements over money matters," he said.

Asked if the woman drug dealer had links with other policemen, Kulkarni said, "Our investigation covers this angle also. Truthfulness of this charge would be ascertained during our investigation." Mephedrone is a party drug extremely popular in western countries and increasingly becoming a major contraband of abuse in India.