Investigations into the recent major seizures of marijuana in western suburbs of the city, Mumbai Crime Branch sleuths have learnt that the contraband was sourced from Osmanabad and Andhra Pradesh where the police claimed contraband is illegally cultivated. In three different operations, the Saki Naka police and crime branch had totally seized 473 kg of marijuana and have so far arrested four persons in these operations.
On January 14, Saki Naka police had apprehended one Ashok Metre with alleged possession of over 345 kg of marijuana in Chandivali. Later, Sakinaka police arrested two more accomplices of Metre, identified as Mohammed Shaikh and Abid Qureshi alias Pappu with 70 kg of marijuana. All of them were booked under relevant sections of the Narcotics Drug and Psychotropic Substance (NDPS) Act.
On Friday evening, a team of Bandra unit of the crime branch led by Inspector Nandkumar Gopale apprehended one Afsar Anwar Hussain Sayyed from Malwani and seized 58.5 kg of marijuana (ganja) from his possession.
"Our probe has revealed that the accused involved in Saki Naka case and our cases are linked with each other. Sayyed has links with Qureshi, who is arrested by Saki Naka police and is wanted in our case too. Sayyed is basically distributor of marijuana to retail peddlers in western suburbs. After the arrest of Qureshi, Sayyed thought that police would trace his consignment too and hence he had shifted the marijuana for some other place to Malwani. We found marijuana stuffed in 28 packets inside a room in Malwani," said inspector Gopale.
An officer who is part of the investigation into the case said that the investigation has so far revealed that the contraband was sourced from Osmanabad and Andhra Pradesh. "Some illegal cultivation of marijuana is happening at these places. We are getting more details on this aspect and would probe further," the officer said.