An International-level discus thrower, who had bagged two medals for the country, was among three persons arrested from New Delhi railway station with more than 25 kilos of Mephedrone drug (popularly known as meow-meow in party circles), police said on Friday.
The estimated worth of the drugs seized from the accused is around Rs 50 crore.
The discus thrower, identified as Harpreet Singh, won a silver medal at the 2004 Commonwealth Youth Games in Australia and a bronze at the 2006 South Asian Games, before a foot injury cut his career short. “Harpreet’s career was marred with doping charges that had once also fetched him a six-month long ban,” Sanjeev Yadav, DCP (special cell) said.
The other two arrested men were identified as athlete Amandeep Singh, who was pursuing a diploma in hospitality and tourism in London, and Hanish Sarpal who had enrolled in a management course at a university in London, but later dropped out.
Harpreet and Amandeep were nabbed by a special cell team from New Delhi station on Wednesday evening, after the police were informed that the duo would be smuggling meow-meow drugs from Mumbai to the capital.
Police said 25 kilos of Mephedrone was seized from the possession of the accused. Mephedrone is popular in parties and is used as a substitute for cocaine. Wednesday’s recovery was possibly the biggest seizure of the drugs from the national capital, police said.
An officer said the interrogation of the duo led the police to Hanish, who was nabbed from west Delhi’s Janakpuri with another 650 grams of the same drug.
Police claimed that their probe has revealed the drugs as smuggled from the African subcontinent to Mumbai and from there pushed into various Indian cities and even exported to other countries. The arrested trio was allegedly working as the Delhi-based agents of an international drug syndicate.
Police said the men had been lured into joining the racket with promises of large sums of money after their careers failed.
Harpreet had allegedly entered the drug trade after trying his hand in the real estate business which crashed because of a slump in the market.
Harpreet was the All India Inter University Champion for three years from 2006 to 2008, but failed to make it to the Indian squad for the 2010 Commonwealth Games. A foot injury that he picked up before the Commonwealth squad selection ensured that he didn’t make the cut, said the officer.
The other two suspects had allegedly met in the United Kingdom while studying. The duo tried to find work there, but had failed and returned to India and got sucked in the drug trade.