Mumbai: Three held with mephedrone worth Rs 38 lakh in two separate cases

Gautam S. MengleUpdated: Wednesday, June 29, 2022, 11:00 PM IST
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In two separate cases registered on Tuesday, the Anti-Narcotics Cell of the Mumbai Police Crime Branch arrested three accused and seized Mephedrone worth Rs 38 lakhs.

According to ANC officials, the first case was registered by the Ghatkopar unit, after its officials, during a routine patrolling round, intercepted Francis D'Souza, 30, was spotted along with another accomplice on the Sion bound lane of the Sion Panvel highway at around 10.30 p.m. on Tuesday. D'souza and the accomplice, identified as Ashfaq Sheikh, 25, were searched and both were found to be carrying a total of 199 grams of mephedrone worth Rs 29.85 lakh. The duo were subsequently placed under arrest.

"D'souza was also arrested last year in a similar case and inquiries have established that he is one of the major peddlers of mephedrone in Mumbai. We are conducting investigations to identify his suppliers as well as customers, so that the entire network can be neutralised," an officer with the ANC's Ghatkopar unit said.

At the same time, at around 11 p.m. on Tuesday, the Azad Maidan unit of the ANC intercepted an accused identified as Salaam Sheikh, 39, near the BPT Colony in Mazgaon. Sheikh was found to be in possession of 53 grams of mephedrone worth Rs 8.50 lakh and was subsequently arrested.

"We suspect that Sheikh is a street peddler connected to a larger gang and inquiries are underway with this angle in mind," an officer said.

All the three accused have been charged under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, officials said.

Commonly known as the 'poor man's cocaine', mephedrone is more widely available as it is manufactured locally and hence relatively cheaper. The drug is a runaway hit with the youth, as it enables staying awake for long hours and aids weight loss. ANC officials say that mephedrone is easily among one of the top challenges with it comes to anti-drug law enforcement in Mumbai today.

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