Thane Crime Branch busts interstate hash oil racket; five arrested

28 February,2024 07:15 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Faisal Tandel

Cops seize illegal substance in multi-state operation

Thane Crime Branch Unit 5 shows confiscated drugs to the media. Pic/Rajesh Gupta

Key Highlights

The Thane Crime Branch Unit 5 has busted an interstate racket of peddlers and arrested five individuals involved in the illegal trade of hash oil. During the investigation, the sleuths found that the hash oil was sourced from Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh to Manmad in Maharashtra, then to Dombivli in Thane, and finally to local peddlers who were selling it on social media platforms.

The Wagle Estate Unit 5 of Thane Crime Branch seized a total of 1.500 kilograms of hash oil worth Rs 1.83 crore. Police sources claim that the demand for drugs is currently high, especially among youngsters from high-profile families who are investing in drugs to get high. "In the 90s and until a few years ago, Kashmiri hashish had a demand across Mumbai and its suburbs. However, with actions against peddlers, the sale and supply of Kashmiri hashish has decreased in the past few years. However, hash oil has taken over the market and is in high demand," said a police officer.

According to the police, the crackdown on these peddlers started when Vikas Ghodke, senior police inspector of Unit 5, and his team first arrested Rushab Bhalerao, 28, a resident of Shahapur in Thane district, on February 7. "Bhalerao was using social media platforms like Instagram to sell hash oil to mostly youngsters across Mumbai and its outskirts. Upon further questioning, we found that he was obtaining the drugs from two individuals in Dombivli," said a police officer.

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The police subsequently arrested Abhijeet Bhoir, 29, and Parag Revendkar, 31, from Dombivli on February 20, seizing hashish, marijuana, and other valuables worth Rs 1.46 lakh. "Both were arrested, and upon further interrogation, we discovered that the drugs were sourced from Manmad in Nashik district of Maharashtra," added the police officer. The Thane Crime Branch team raided Manmad and arrested two individuals, including Mama alias Surendra Babu Ahire, 54, and Raju Haribhau Jadhav, 40, both residents of Manmad in Nashik district. "We seized 127 grams of hash oil from Mama worth Rs 12.70 lakh and 1.380 kilograms of hash oil worth R1.38 crore from Jadhav. Overall, 1.507 kilograms of hash oil were seized from them," said Vikas Ghodke, Senior Police Inspector of Wagle Estate Unit 5.

"The police produced the accused in court, and they were remanded in police custody until March 1," added Ghodke. Shivraj Patil, deputy commissioner of police, confirmed an interstate racket and said, "We are further investigating to determine the exact source of this hash oil." Sources stated that preliminary investigation has revealed that hash oil is prepared from the cannabis plant and mostly used by dopers by refilling it in e-cigarettes, mixing it with smoking paper, or putting it on cigarettes.

Rs 1.83 cr
Worth of seized hash oil

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