30 Nigerians held in drug peddling case

Escalating its crackdown on drug dealers, the anti-narcotics cell (ANC) of the Mumbai police, in a joint operation with the Vakola police, has detained more than 30 Nigerians in a drug peddling case from Kalina in Santacruz (E).

The ANC was shaken out of its daze after the Vakola police busted two drug operations in Kalina recently. On Tuesday, cops arrested a 24-year-old fashion designer with six kilos of ganja, as reported by this paper yesterday (‘Debt-ridden fashion designer turns to selling ganja’). Last week, the police nabbed four Nigerians from Kalina for dealing in drugs.

The ANC’s drive to bust the drug ring in Kalina comes as the local Vakola police have already made arrests and begun cracking the cases, which ideally is the former’s job. A senior police officer from ANC said, “We are conducting a special drive against drug peddlers, mostly Nigerian nationals who will be detained and interrogated. Their documents etc will be verified. Those possessing drugs or with links to peddlers will be arrested.”

On the first day of its operation, the ANC along with the local Vakola police detained over 30 Nigerians from Kalina. The area is believed to be a hub of peddlers who have no legal documents, said the police. Most peddlers come on tourist and student visas and cops suspect those who are continuing to stay on after their visa has expired.

A senior police officer said the ANC would extend the drive to encase other parts of the city. He said in the coming days, similar raids would be conducted in South Mumbai, Malvani, Andheri, Mira Road, Nalasopara and other areas with a high Nigerian population.

Cops said the Nigerians detained from Kalina have no documents on them, and visas of some have expired. The drugs cops recovered from them are not very high in quantity but have a lofty value. The detained will be charged under several sections of the Passport Act, the Foreign Act and the NDPS Act. The police will display the list of the arrested and the drugs seized today.

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