Mumbai: In a recent crackdown on drug peddlers by the Anti Narcotic Cell’s (ANC) Kandivali unit, where they seized 70 kilograms of Cannabis worth Rs 70 lakh, they also uncovered a new trick put to use by the drug peddlers. Police witnessed it when they had busted a drug trade at Dahisar last week.

According to the police, on February 6, when the two teams led by police inspector Pravin Kadam from Kandivali unit of ANC, raided a hutment at Ambujwadi, adjacent to the railway tracks at Dahisar, they stumbled upon a surprising number of transgenders trying to distract them from the raids.

A senior ANC official said,”Realising we were police, a number of transgenders tried to interfere in our investigations and misguide us. Since the lanes and bylanes were narrow, the police teams were walking in a single file.

At that time, one transgender tried to intervene us and asked for money. A few steps ahead, the other tried to slip in some fake information to divert our attention and kill our time.”  It was later revealed, when the police were distracted, another set of transgenders were alarming the accused to help them escape form the police net.

However, a police team reached just in time and arrested the accused. During this particular raid on February 6, at Ambujwadi, police apprehended the main drug lord of Ambujwadi- Lakshmi Velandas alias Boss, along with his accomplices- Sampurna Mistry and Bharat Shah.

The accused trio were booked under relevant sections of the Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act. ANC Chief, Shivdeep Lande, said, “The drug mafia keep changing their strategies and tricks just to misguide the police and evade arrest.

According to the information received, the drug peddlers pay a cut from their deals to these transgenders, who in return protect them during the police raids.  Since nobody volunteers to get into a scuffle with transgenders and stay away from them, the peddlers have taken advantage of this entire situation.”

Police said, the transgenders act like an outer shield of protection for peddlers and are positioned at various entry-exit points of the slum areas. Whenever policemen try to bust the drug trade rings in these areas, the transgenders attempt to misguide the police and alarm the drug peddlers.

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