Mumbai cops arrest 3 drug peddlers set to supply cough syrup to New Year Eve's parties
ANC foils Kurla drug peddlers' New Year Eve plan, arrests three with hundreds of bottles of the medicine
Mumbai police's Anti-Narcotics Cell has just left addicts 'low and dry' - based on a tip-off, its Ghatkopar unit team on Wednesday arrested three drug peddlers from Kurla who were planning to supply to a cough syrup party on New Year's Eve. Officers said the bust happened during a round of precautionary patrolling in Vinoba Bhave Nagar, being carried out after Commissioner Dattatrey Padsalgikar's instruction to all police stations, crime branch units and the ANC to be on their toes.
The woman and two men arrested - Asha alias Namrata Kadam, 32, Ramu Nair, 22 and Mohammad Shakeel alias Guddu Ansari, 49 - were found with 663 bottles of cough syrup containing codeine phosphate. Shivdeep Lande, DCP (ANC), told mid-day, "We have arrested the accused under sections 8 (C), 22, and 29 of the NDPS Act. They were produced in court, which sent them to police custody till January 3. We are investigating how far their links are spread."
"On December 31, addicts had planned a cough syrup party - in such a party, there is no alcohol; everyone just drinks the cough syrup. The cough syrup seized is prescription medicine; it can't be sold or bought over the counter. It costs R110 per bottle. Asha and her associates, however, would sell a bottle for R300," said an officer.
A source from ANC said, "Preliminary inquiry revealed that the accused used to order it from their point person in Gujarat, who would send it here with his courier boy. Once the consignment arrived, Asha would circulate the message among addicts, who would then land up at her place."
Local police's failure?
According to sources, police records show that Asha's husband Dilip was arrested earlier by the local police under the same charges. A resident said, "In this area, there is a heavy concentration of active drug addicts, but the local police don't take any action, despite repeated complaints from people staying in the neighbourhood." Sources also revealed that there are over 10 people involved in the business of selling cough syrup to addicts. The consignments arrive from Gujarat in Govandi, from where smaller peddlers pick them up and start selling.
Number of cough syrup bottles seized