129kg of MD drug worth Rs 51 crore seized, 5 held

Mumbai: In a massive drug seizure, the Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad arrested five people and seized 129kg of Mephedrone also known as MD worth over Rs 51 crore, along with cash of Rs 1.04 crore.

Police said that the accused would manufacture the drug at a Panvel lab, store it in a factory and later distribute and sell it at Thane, Mumbai and Navi Mumbai.

Vikaram Deshmane, deputy commissioner of police said that the ATS received a tip-off about a drug deal taking place near the Eastern Express Highway at Vikhroli.

Accordingly, a trap was laid on Monday night and police arrested two men -- Abdul Razzaque Qadar Shaikh (47) and Irfan Badar Shaikh (43) -- and seized 9 kilograms of MD from them.

Primary investigations revealed that they had an accomplice, Suleiman Shaikh (28), who was arrested from Bandra on Monday night. During the interrogation, police learnt about a factory that was being used as a lab to manufacture MD.

Acting on the information from the arrested accused, the factory and lab at Navi Mumbai was raided, which led to the arrest of two more men -- Jitendra Parmar (41) and Naresh Mhaskar (42), early on Tuesday morning.

"During the search, we found 120kg of MD and also seized Rs 1.04 crore in cash from the factory. We suspect that this cash was earned by the accused by selling the drug," said DCP Deshmane.

The seizure is a big accomplishment as this gang supplied to a big network of drug peddlers, added Deshmane. Police said the search at the factory was underway and more seizures as well as arrests are likely to be made.

Police said that sophisticated lab equipments were used to manufacture the drug, which is suspected to be of prime quality. The criminal and educational backgrounds of the arrested accused are being looked into to check if anyone is connected to the pharmaceutical field, said a senior official.

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