Was the recent haul of ephedrine worth Rs 2,000 crore just a small fry in the notorious D-Company’s drug smuggling syndicate? The Thane police, which busted the racket last month with the seizure of 20,000 kg of drugs from Thane and Solapur, suspect that the ringleaders of the racket had supplied drugs to fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and his key aide, Chhota Shakeel.
The Thane police suspect that ringleaders Jay Mukhi and Kishore Rathod had supplied drugs to Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Shakeel
Manoj Jain, director of pharma company Avon Life Science Limited in Solapur, whose factory manufactured the seized ephedrine, and Punit Sringi, the director in-charge of the factory — who were arrested recently — have reportedly told the police that ringleaders Jay Mukhi and Kishore Rathod — son of former MLA Bhavsingh Rathod — had three months ago visited Dubai to supply drugs to an associate of Ibrahim, India’s most wanted criminal.
“When we checked Jain and Sringi’s call records, we found that they had received many calls from Mukhi and Rathod from Dubai. Jain and Sringi have confirmed this. They, however, claim that they don’t know whether drugs were being supplied to Dawood Ibrahim’s cartel,” said a police officer.
Jain and Sringi had earlier revealed their ties with drug lord and husband of Mamta Kulkarni Vicky Goswami, who allegedly runs his cartel out of Kenya. Goswami, too, has links with Dubai. He was arrested and sentenced to life imprisonment in 1997 there. He was released in 2012 on the grounds that he had transformed into a better human being.
Hot on the heels
The Thane and Gujarat police, who had recently seized in Ahmedabad a consignment of 1,300 kg of drugs meant to be smuggled to Kenya, are trying to track down Mukhi and Rathod.
“Their arrest will get us to the international smugglers and the different cartels they were part of,” said the officer. “Mukhi and Rathod went to Dubai and had call Jain and Sringi many times after a meeting with one of the cartels there. We have some clues on the Dubai link and suspect that the local smugglers had supplied drugs to Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Shakeel.”
Hopes pinned on Sringi’s statement
The Thane police are in the final stage of making Punit Sringi the approver in the drug bust case. His statement is expected to help them prepare a watertight case and expose the racket’s international links.