In a major crackdown, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), which is investigating the alleged drug angle in the Sushant Singh Rajput case, has seized bud (curated marijuana) in operations undertaken in Delhi and Mumbai on Tuesday. The name of this contraband had recently surfaced, after the ED began retrieving data from actor Rhea Chakraborty's phone.
The agency had recently registered a case against Goa hotelier Gaurav Arya, Rhea, her brother Showik, and others under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985. It began investigations after the ED stumbled on Rhea's WhatsApp chats, where drugs were allegedly discussed.
"Intensive operations against the trafficked bud (curated marijuana) sourced from abroad were undertaken at Delhi and Mumbai. In all, 3.5 kilograms of bud was seized. It has high street value in Mumbai and the best quality is sold at Rs 5,000 per gram," read an NCB statement.
"The seizure made in Delhi was destined for Mumbai. The seizure made in Mumbai was sourced from Canada and destined for Goa,'' the statement further said.
The agency said that 3.5 kilograms of bud had been seized from foreign post offices, based on specific inputs. "The widespread use and demand of bud in Mumbai region has jacked up the prices in the grey market. The sourcing of the bud is primarily through the Darknet, which gives layers of anonymity to buyers and sellers. The economic transactions in this type of international drug trafficking is based on cryptocurrency dealings," it said.
The NCB has also come down heavily on drug cartels in the city and have been questioning several suspects. The operations in Mumbai had unearthed links with Goa and a person named F Ahmed, a resident of Calangute, Goa, has been intercepted. Ahmed worked as a driver in a prominent resort. "It has further been learnt that Ahmed was supplying the bud to some prominent receiver at Bangalore, who has linkages with Page 3 celebrities," according to the NCB.
In the Delhi operations, the source of the bud was found to be the USA. The consignee of the contraband was based in Delhi, but was misguided by his Mumbai contact that some legal stuff was being procured from USA and the same was to be collected by Mumbai-based persons, a search for whom is underway, the agency said.