Mumbai Crime: NCB busts gang smuggling charas in cricket bats at Andheri

Updated: Dec 24, 2019, 07:55 IST | Vishal Singh | Mumbai

Cannabis and an anticonvulsant drug would be filled in cavities made in the bat and supplied to Qatar via courier.

Representation pic
Representation pic

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has busted a drug-supplying racket where charas (cannabis) and an anticonvulsant drug, Lyrica, concealed in cricket bats were being sent to Qatar via courier. The gang was executing this with the help of an Andheri-based courier company.

Lyrica, which is banned in some countries, is used as a narcotic alternative by drug addicts. The NCB got a tip-off about the supply of drugs with the help of the courier company and apprehended four accused from Andheri, while the fifth and main accused was held from the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport before he boarded a flight to Dubai. The accused have been identified as Jamshad Malik, 25, the mastermind, Kasiful Minhaj, 27, Zainuddin Abdula, 28, Alfie Manjot, 30, and Atul Rokade, 27.

"The drugs were stuffed in cavities made in the cricket bats. They were couriered through the Andheri-based company. This modus operandi avoided suspicion from Customs and other agencies," an officer from the NCB said. In the two cricket bats the NCB seized, 83 Lyrica capsules and 2.736 kilograms charas strips were found.

According to the NCB, Lyrica is used by epilepsy patients. While it is not mentioned as a narcotic substance in the NDPS Act, since it was being sent along with the charas, the samples have been sent for testing. In the past two months, two cases of Lyrica being smuggled with charas have come to light. With the New Year approaching, the NCB has increased surveillance. The Anti Narcotics Cell too has made a dossier of 700 drug peddlers, including foreign nationals, who are being monitored.

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