A 35-year-old neurologist has been arrested by Hyderabad Police for allegedly making and selling chocolates laced with marijuana on social media for the last two years, officials said on Monday.
A special operations team of Rachakonda Police arrested Mohd Sujath Ali Khan from Bahadoorpura area in the Old City after raiding his house on January 27.
“He was making chocolates mixed with marijuana and selling them to his customers online through his Instagram account,” special operations team inspector K Narsing Rao told Hindustan Times.
“Since he would be easily caught if he sold chocolates in the open market, Sujath Ali opened pages on Instagram in the name of Weedibles.hyd and Weedibles.India and started marketing them. Within no time, several clients came in contact with him over the phone,” Rao said.
Khan completed his MBBS degree from Deccan Medical College, run by the Dar-us-Salam Educational Trust headed by Hyderabad MP and MIM president Asaduddin Owaisi, with specialisation in neurology.
After completing his degree, he worked in government-run Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences as a research coordinator till 2014. He later started working as a consultant in local gyms and came in contact with youth who were addicted to drugs.
Police said Khan then hit upon the idea of making quick bucks by peddling drugs and that he learnt to make the chocolates after watching videos. He used to procure marijuana from peddlers, converted it into a fine powder and mixed it with chocolate powder to make the toffees.
The colourfully-packed chocolates attracted the net-savvy youth and within no time, he was flooded with calls. He ran a brisk business of supplying chocolates to customers from various parts of the country.
“Premium handcrafted Nutella/chocolate based edibles infused with purified concentrated extracts; custom made to individual requirement..” the ads on Instagram said.
“Depending on the concentration of marijuana, he named his chocolates as X, XX, XXX, 4X, 5X and 6X. The price ranged from Rs 500 to Rs 1,800 per box of 10 chocolates, depending on whether it was X or 6 X. The customers, mostly youth including women, used to contact him from not only Hyderabad but also from Kolkata, Bengaluru, Chennai, Pune and Vellore,” the inspector said.
“On an average, he used to make Rs 40,000 to Rs 60,000 a month through online sales. The supply of stocks was through parcels and couriers and payments were made through online banking,” the inspector said.
Khan was aware of the effects of marijuana and he knew that he would get repeated calls from the same customers.
“He did not go in for procuring dangerous narcotics like cocaine, which is costlier. Otherwise, his business would have run into crores of rupees,” he added.
Marijuana is classified as a schedule 1 drug in the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances in India Act 1985. Its sale, consumption, production and transportation is illegal in the country.