A clerk of the postal department and a businessman were caught red-handed while they were emptying Speedpost packages and refilling them with Schedule C drug Ketamine, notorious as the date-rape drug
An international drug cartel using speedpost to smuggle date-rape drug Ketamine to the UK was busted by the Anti-Narcotics Cell (ANC) of Mumbai police on Tuesday.
A clerk of the postal department and a businessman were caught red-handed while they were emptying speedpost packages carrying sunflower oil and idli mix and refilling them with Schedule C drug Ketamine at the Postal Colony near Sahar Complex in Andheri.
The clerk, Deepak Chamanlal Baghdi, and Mohammad Husain Bilal alias Telwala, who deals in mobile accessories, were under ANC’s watch for a few days before Tuesday’s raid.
The building in the Postal Colony which was raided
Deputy Commissioner of Police, ANC, Sunil Paraskar, who helmed the operation, believes the 32 kg of Ketamine seized in the raid is just a fraction of what this gang has been sending abroad every month. “We are obviously on to something big.
We have information that in just the past one month, the gang smuggled nearly 1,000 kg of Ketamine out of India,” he said.
While 32 kg of Ketamine is worth a little over Rs 6 lakh in India, its value increases manifold in the international market. “The 1,000 kg they managed to send out of India last month would have fetched them crores,” said Paraskar.
Ketamine is a short-acting general anaesthetic that has hallucinogenic and painkilling qualities and is a popular party drug. In its more sinister avatar, it’s infamous as date-rape drug.
Baghdi and Husain, the clerk and the businessman, would intercept bulky packages carrying food items and cart them to their Postal Colony home.
They would empty these packages, refill them with Ketamine, and put UK addresses on them. They would bring these packages back to the GPO the next day and mix them with other parcels.
The ANC now is using the addresses on the seized packages to identify the consignees in the UK with the Interpol’s help. “This racket clearly involves a chain of international smugglers.
We will be taking the help of Interpol to take the case to its logical end,” said Joint Commissioner of Police Himanshu Roy.
The Delhi police have also been roped in after the arrested postal clerks in their preliminary questioning revealed that a certain Bunty delivered Ketamine packets to them from Delhi.
The ANC believes that the racket in being run from Delhi. “The clerks we have in our custody and Bunty are just foot soldiers.
The mastermind is somebody else,” said an officer and hinted that more postal employees could be arrested.
When contacted, Postal Director Abha Singh said: “I am in Delhi and not aware of the matter. But I will look into it.”
Nazia Sayed and Ashutosh Patil
Posted On Thursday, January 06, 2011
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