Mumbai Crime: Peddlers create groups on WhatsApp, Instagram to lure students to buy drugs
Peddlers held last week reveal they made groups on the networking apps to lure college students into buying their 'hybrid' narcotics
Screenshots of the drugs the accused circulated via WhatsApp and Instagram
The Anti-Narcotics Cell (ANC) that arrested two youths last week, recovering mephedrone (MD) and ganja from them, has found out their modus operandi — the youngsters had been targeting their ilk through social media.
The accused, Danish Asif Sayyad alias Danny, 23, and Kashish Gupta, 21, who were picked up from Goregaon, had created three WhatsApp and Instagram groups — VR420, VR46 and VR49 — and through these sold MD and marijuana to collegians from Andheri, Kandivli and several other colleges in the western suburbs and north Mumbai.
Officers said the accused would make videos of the drugs and circulate those through the two apps. They also claimed that the drugs were "hybrid" in a bid to lure youngsters, who they would call for parties in rented bungalows in Karjat, Lonavala and Silvasa, and sell them the narcotics at high prices.
Fooling with 'cool'
ANC officers said the accused have revealed that they fooled kids by telling them that what they were selling was "hybrid ganja" and it would give them a different kind of kick, but it was nothing but ganja and MD mixed with odd chemicals. This also made their detection difficult as the chemicals were not covered under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. The duo had given the drugs names like Skunk and Super Silver Haze to make them sound cool and popular.
The accused had been buying the drugs online, mainly from a foreign national they knew only as Michael.
The group gatecrash
"The two were arrested after a two-month probe. We infiltrated one of the social media groups to detect the case," said Deputy Commissioner of Police (ANC) Shivdeep Lande.
Danish Asif Sayyad
The accused, who are in judicial custody, had 10 to 15 members on each group and would have parties every month, said officers, adding that they had been doing this for over a year. Some of the members are from well-to-do families, and the police said they would be speaking to their parents to inform them about this. The ANC is also on the lookout for more suspected to be part of the gang.
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