Dealers target vulnerable and attractive teens in colleges, turning them into addicts and drug mules
Peddlers of Mephedrone, popularly known as MD or Meow-Meow, are purring at a new business model to rake in the drug money. They are turning ‘good-looking’ and emotionally vulnerable teenagers from city colleges into addicts and then using their dependence on the drug to peddle it further into their circles. The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) learnt about this trend after two teens - a girl and a boy - approached them with their families.
On Wednesday, the parents of the teens separately visited the NCB office and sought help. “The peddlers of MD, who are mainly based in south Mumbai, now look for good-looking and vulnerable college girls to spread their network. They first turn them into addicts and then make them sell the drug to other teens,” said a senior NCB official.
Identifying the target
Speaking about the modus operandi, the official said that the peddlers first do a recce of college campuses to identify the girls and then befriend them.
“The girl who met us was highly vulnerable to such elements as she was good-looking and has a troubled family. Her parents are living separately post a marital dispute while she stays with her maternal uncle,” said the officer. The peddler gave the girl Meow-Meow for free for the first fortnight, telling her that it is a ‘medicine’ to reduce stress. Once the girl got addicted to it, the peddler told her that she’d have to shell out money if she wanted more.
The NCB officials said that peddlers tell the teens that the ‘medicine’ will keep them awake during the time of exams. Many claim the drug will give them a glowing face and taut skin.
Stealing for drugs
When the peddler started demanding money — one gram of MD costs around Rs 1,300 —from the girl, she stole from her uncle. When she learnt that her family knew of her thievery, she fled from home and started living with friends. She even cut her hair short to change her look so that her family members could not trace her. Her family lodged a missing persons complaint, but she returned home after she ran out of money.
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Good looks, good looks...
However, before she was reduced to fleeing from home after stealing cash, the girl was peddled with an alternative. She told NCB officials that the peddler told her of an idea that would maintain a regular supply of drugs. “He told her to use her good looks and lure boys in her college and turn them into addicts. He asked her to take the drugs from him and supply them. In return, he would provide her with a free supply for her personal consumption,” said the NCB official. Officials have also learnt that a few other girls spent the night with boys to lure them and arrange for the drug money, said sources.
“We have now made it our agenda to curb the menace of drug abuse in colleges. We are also taking efforts to create awareness among college students and parents,” added the senior officer.