To avoid suspicion, Pinjar, based in Vasai, orchestrated safe delivery, by choosing the delivery location in Ratnagiri
Vinyasa Residency where crime branch sleuths arrested four drug peddlers and their interrogation led to bust a drug factory in Mokhada. Pic/Hanif Patel
The 45-year-old drug lord, Sameer Pinjar, recently apprehended by the Mira Bhayandar Vasai Virar (MBVV) police, had been sourcing key chemicals from China via courier to run a clandestine synthetic drug manufacturing unit in Mokhada that had been secretly running for over 18 months. To evade suspicion, Pinjar, based in Vasai, orchestrated safe delivery, by choosing the delivery location in Ratnagiri, where his local henchman would receive it and then send it to Mumbai via road minimising detection by Mumbai law enforcement, according to an investigating officer.
Past work experience
“Pinjar exploited prior work at a chemical factory in Hyderabad and experience in export-import to start a drug plant in a remote Mokhada area. His knowledge from Hyderabad aided in understanding chemical properties, while his export-import exposure revealed system loopholes for personal gain,” said a senior police officer requesting anonymity.
Pinjar acquired most chemicals locally except for a crucial component used in producing Mephedrone or Meow Meow or MDMA, sourced from China through online searches. “In his quest for the key chemical, Pinjar found a Chinese company offering economical delivery to India. Through a local vendor in China for the delivery of the key chemical known as PP,” added the officer.
“Pinjar, having an export-import background, reached out to known Chinese vendors. He engaged one who received commissions from the chemical company to facilitate the key chemicals in India. Using hawala networks, Pinjar made payments for each consignment,” said the officer.
“After payment, the vendor sent consignments to Ratnagiri, always under a fictitious name. Pinjar used a bogus mobile number for coordination. We’ve contacted the courier company to track the number and quantity of these shipments,” the officer explained. “The mastermind avoided direct involvement and convinced another person to receive the consignments. When questioned, he cleverly justified it as a customs issue,” the officer added.
“The key chemical was sent to Mumbai from Ratnagiri by this associate, then synthesised into MD and distributed to drug peddlers. These peddlers sold smaller packets to addicts across various locations,” the officer explained. “The vendor from China, a Bhayandar native, has returned to India. We’ve enlisted him as a witness and recorded his statement. He disclosed the entire operation, details that Pinjar withheld,” the sources in the crime branch said.
Pinjar maintained a low profile, commuting on a two-wheeler to the manufacturing site, transporting drugs from Mokhada to Vasai. Larger quantities of MD were sold to Gautam Ghosh in Bhayandar, who repackaged them for local peddlers in Mira Road and Bhayandar.
The whole network came to light after a raid at Vinyasa Residency Lodge in Bhayandar that led to the arrests of Sunny Salekar,32; Vishal Godse, 28; Deepak Dubey, 26; and Shahbaz Shaikh, 29, on October 11. The crime branch after questioning them arrested Tanveer Chaudhary,33, and Gautam Ghosh, 38, on October 21.
“Pinjar was solely in touch with Ghosh and Chaudhary for drug supply,” said an officer. Almost all the arrested peddlers had past involvements in crimes spanning theft, kidnapping, drug cases, and more across Mumbai, Thane, Mira Road, and Bhayandar. Pinjar posed as a civil contractor, Ghosh ran a business, and Chaudhary worked in an event organisation, while the arrested peddlers were perceived as unemployed by the public.
No of people arrested