Two fruit vendors were arrested by the Anti-Narcotics Cell (ANC) of the Mumbai Crime Branch for smuggling drugs from Kashmir to Mumbai. The duo was caught with 1.8 kg of Charas worth Rs 7.2 lakh.
The accused have been identified as Nissar Ahmed Bhat (33), an apple seller and resident of Sangrama Village, Baramulla district, Jammu and Kashmir and Ilias Ismail Shaikh (38), who is also a fruit vendor and stays at Hasnain tower, Kousa, Mumbra.
Acting on a tip-off related to a drug peddling network, the ANC sleuths arrested them at Nehru Nagar, Kurla.
Shivdeep Lande, Anti Narcotics Cell, DCP told Mid-Day, “We have arrested two fruit suppliers with Charas. They were produced before the court, which remanded them into police custody till 16 May. Investigations are ongoing."
According to ANC officials, many fruit vendors order apples from Kashmiri fruit suppliers because they are comparitively cheaper and in demand. These suppliers conceal the charas inside the apple boxes and use trucks to deliver them to Mumbai without any trouble from security authorities.
An officer from ANC said, “We have told to increase security checks of these fruit vehicles. Charas has a strong odour but the apple's smell suppresses it due to which most of the time they are transported undetected."
According to sources Bhat is the truck driver, who works on the direction of his superior, who gets orders from different states and sends his trucks there. He used to carry 10kg of Charas at a time, and has delivered the drug on more than five occasions this year.
Now the ANC is on the hunt to bust the entire nexus and the money trail.
According to ANC sources, there are many charas suppliers in Kashmir, who use the money earned from selling the drugs to fund the Anti National Movement in the state.