The rise in conviction rate has deterred traffickers to peddle drugs from other Indian cities and foreign nations.
Those who have been convicted and sentenced to rigorous imprisonment from 2-10 years in drug crimes in 2017 include Hasan Omari Mpogwe, Amechi Uvanyasi, Chikujevko Vaku Samuel, Michel Oti Nikolas, Peter Cement, Lucky Agbiraizu, Parshuram Ramchandra Kevat, Kantilal Nagjiram Joshi among others.
Mumbai : Mumbai has been the hotbed for the drug trafficking industry for decades. According to the latest data by National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) 2015, total 24,018 cases under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985 were registered in 53 mega cities (having population of 10 lakh or more). Out of 24,018, Mumbai registered the highest number of such cases (18,628) followed by Kochi (654 cases) during 2015.
The reason behind the rise in drug crimes in Mumbai was low conviction rate, said Shideep Lande, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) of Anti Narcotics Cell (ANC).
Lande, who is popularly known as the ‘robust’ police officer, said that the conviction rate in NDPS cases has gone higher by 36% in 2017 as compared to a minimal 6% the previous year.
“Total 50 cases of NDPS went to trial in 2016. Of these 50, the accused in only three cases got convicted and three cases were abated due to the death of the accused. However, in 2017, total 24 cases of NDPS went to trial till date, out of which accused in eight cases have been convicted and two cases have been abated,” said Lande.
Earlier accused in NDPS cases were acquitted due to the lack of evidence and failure in follow-up procedures. But the scenario has changed now as Lande has been studying the previous cases of NDPS and closely monitoring the cases.
“I personally review every case even after filing charge-sheet in the case. We follow court directions like time to time we produce the witnesses as well as accused in the case. Earlier the witnesses used to turn hostile in the cases. But the close monitoring in the case has helped us in getting the accused convicted,” said Lande.
Those who have been convicted include Indians as well as foreign nationals too. The rise in conviction rate has deterred traffickers from peddling drugs from other Indian cities and foreign nations, said Lande, adding, “Earlier the narcotic substances like cocaine, hashish, marijuana, brown sugar, etc were pushed in the city but now party drug meow meow is the top drug being sold in Mumbai. This year we have seized meow meow drug worth Rs 7 crore.”
All the units of ANC in Mumbai have made elaborate arrangements to keep hawk eyes on drug peddlers. “We have tightened the noose of peddlers selling meow meow in the city. Now the peddlers have resorted to push cocaine from foreign nationals,” said Lande.
The ANC registered total 114 cases in 2016 and 95% of these were of small quantity cases in which the accused easily get bail and the punishment is up to just 6 months. However, the data for 2017 till date is comparatively impressive after Lande took charge of ANC.
This year ANC has registered 35 cases and more than 90% are commercial cases in which it is tough for accused to get bail and the punishment is up to 20 years, said Lande.