Mumbai: Peddlers keeping smaller quantities of MD drugs to escape harsh punishment: NCB probe

Drug peddlers of mephedrone seem to have been aware of the provisions of drug law as they are keeping minimal quantities in possession to escape long jail terms, revealed the investigations of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).

Mephedrone, also known as M-Kat, MD and Meow Meow is regarded as a poor man’s Cocaine and is locally made unlike cocaine and heroin, which is imported. The worrying trend for the agencies is that widespread network of drug lords and peddlers. “Until this year, we have registered 13 cases out of which 12 cases are pertaining to seizure of MD,” said a senior NCB officer who is part of the crackdown against drug mafias. “Some peddlers, however, are trying to escape the law by keeping just one gram of MD at a time of delivering it to the buyer. The buyer is strictly given just a gram and is asked to come again if he wants more. This is being done so that in the event of a peddler being caught red-handed, he would be bailed soon given the small quantity,” the officer added.

Under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) act, small and commercial quantities for each drug have been notified. In respect of MD, the law states that two grams to less than 50 grams is considered non-commercial quantity and the penalty is imprisonment of two years, extending up to 10, and a fine of up to Rs1 lakh. Minimum 50 grams of MD is considered commercial quantity for which the penalty is imprisonment of anywhere between 10 and 20 years and a fine of up to Rs 2 lakh.

The NCB investigations revealed MD is manufactured in factories and labs at the outskirts of the city and is circulated across the country. To recall, a clandestine drug laboratory operated by a peddler Arif Bhujwala in Noor Manzil Building was busted in which NCB seized huge amounts of cash and drugs. The NCB searches led to recovery of one automatic blank revolver, huge unaccounted cash amounting to Rs 2,18,25,600, believed to be sale proceeds from illegal drug Trafficking. MD is a synthetic stimulant drug of amphetamine class with psychoactive characteristics and usually used at parties and play drugs.

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