Why was this cop partying with Mumbai's top drug dealer Bakul Chandaria?

Updated: Dec 14, 2017, 09:29 IST | Vijay Kumar Yadav

Photos of Khar constable Vikas Ghoderao with recently-arrested drug peddler Bakul Chandaria stirs controversy

Did drug dealer Bakul Chandaria, who was arrested from his Khar residence on Saturday, get away with his illegal business for this long because he had the backing of a cop? Photographs of Khar police constable Vikas Ghoderao alias Vicky, partying with Chandaria, have raised eyebrows in police circles. In the photographs, Ghoderao is seen celebrating with Chandaria on several occasions.

Vikas Ghoderao (in red shirt and hat) with Bakul Chandaria
Vikas Ghoderao (in red shirt and hat) with Bakul Chandaria

Ghoderao has been posted with the detection team of the Khar police for the past three years. In one photo, Ghoderao is seen with Chandaria's nephew, who is also believed to be a peddler, who was once booked by the Juhu police.

No action taken
Mumbai police head constable Sunil Toke, known for raising his voice against corruption in the department, says four mon­ths ago he had submitted these photos to a top cop at the office of the police commissioner and sou­ght an enquiry. But, no action was taken then. He also shared the pictures on Facebook, but to no avail.

Ghoderao with Chandaria
Ghoderao with Chandaria

'Was cop tipping off Chandaria?'
"Why is a police constable partying with a drug dealer? A detection constable always knows about criminal elements in his jurisdiction. How could Ghod­erao not have any idea about Chandaria's background? It would be easy for people like Chandaria to operate without fear of police action as he was clearly getting updates on the cops' plans in advance from his 'friends' in the department. Why can't anyone see that they could be a nexus?" Toke said.

Chandaria's nephew
Chandaria's nephew

Nothing suspicious: ANC
An officer from the Anti-Narcotics Cell that arrested Chandaria on Saturday, said the team probing Chandaria's current case have found nothing suspicious against Ghoderao yet. But, the ANC is not ruling out any possibility, the officer said.

Chandaria, whose family owns the Sarvodaya Video Centre in Khar West, had earlier been held in 2012 in the Juhu Oakwood rave party bust, where several celebs and well-known personalities were caught. At the time, he had been found in possession of four grams of cocaine, but he had claimed that he was not involved in the party.

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I didn't know: Cop

When mid-day spoke to Ghoderao, he said he knew nothing about his drug business. "I became his friend through a common friend, Bobby Warren. We have been close friends for eight years. We par­tied together many times, but I never got to know that he was in the drug business."

He added, "I know that he had been arrested in a drug case long ago, but he never operated in front of us. I was shocked when ANC arrested him. I was speechless, as Chandaria had always been a kind person and a family man. We never suspected that he was actively involved in the narcotics business. I have a very clean service record and have nothing to do with his drug business."

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