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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Mumbai Selling MD for a year to fund medical treatment man caught by drugs cell

Mumbai: Selling MD for a year to fund medical treatment, man caught by drugs cell

Updated on: 20 January,2024 05:12 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Faizan Khan |

Firoz Sayyed discovered he had a skin disease when he returned to India to renew his passport in 2023; his arrest led the ANC to a Vasai-based supplier—a Nigerian national who has been living in India illegally

Mumbai: Selling MD for a year to fund medical treatment, man caught by drugs cell

Accused Firoz Sayyed had been residing in Dubai since 1993; (right) accused Joseph Chinaedum Chukwu came to India in 2019

A Thane resident, living in Dubai since 1993, returned to India in 2023 to renew his passport but eventually started selling narcotics, which led to his arrest on Tuesday by Mumbai’s Azad Maidan unit of the Anti Narcotics Cell (ANC). The man was facing exorbitant medical expenses due to a skin disease and he resorted to selling mephedrone (MD) to fund the treatment. His arrest also led to the arrest of a Nigerian national, who supplied the mephedrone, on Thursday. The accused, Firoz Sayyed, 42, worked along with his associate Joseph Chinaedum Chukwu, 39, a Nigerian who had been staying illegally in India.

Spotted on highway

According to the Azad Maidan ANC, while patrolling the Eastern Express Highway earlier this week, they observed suspicious activity involving Sayyed. Upon frisking Sayyed, they discovered mephedrone on him, leading to his arrest on Tuesday. Sayyed revealed that Chukwu was his supplier and the ANC arrested him from Vasai on Thursday. Deputy Commissioner of Police (ANC) Prakash Jadhav said, “Drugs worth Rs 32 lakh were seized from the duo, and further investigation is underway.”.

According to the ANC, when Sayyed came to India in January 2023 to renew his passport, he intended to return to Dubai. However, during the passport renewal process, he was diagnosed with a severe skin disease, leading to high medical expenses.

How MD peddling began

To cope, Sayyed turned to selling mephedrone with the help of his network of friends, who initially provided him with the drug. An officer said, “Sayyed had a long-standing association with ganja and a network of peddlers, which eventually led him to sell MD to cover his medical costs. During this, he also came in contact with the Nigerian national.”

During his interrogation, Sayyed said that he engaged in the sale of mephedrone and began researching the production of MD to enhance his earnings. He wanted to use the money to get better medical treatment and return to Dubai, where he had worked as a painter, driver, and security personnel.

In Dubai, Sayyed was supported by his sister who employed him for various jobs and gave him other work opportunities. He resides there with his second wife, a Philippine national. An officer said, “We suspect that Sayyed’s drug connections may extend to Dubai, given his frequent travels from Mumbai to Dubai, and we are investigating this aspect.”

Other accused’s history

The Nigerian national apprehended by the ANC has claimed that he arrived in India before the pandemic to treat a breast tumour that Nigerian doctors suspected to be cancer. They recommended treatment in India. Chukwu arrived in 2019 on a tourist visa and stayed in Vasai with his brother, who succumbed to COVID-19 at JJ Hospital.

Joseph insisted that his involvement in the narcotics business started after his brother’s demise, after which he never returned to Nigeria. His visa expired in 2020. Sources in the ANC said that they examined Chukwu’s medical records but found no history of treatment for his medical condition. The ANC suspects that he might be using the tumour as an excuse to evade authorities.

Rs 32L
Total value of drugs seized from duo

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