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Nigerians' flanks covered

Rahul's arrest is a big success for Delhi Police. But global policy is to go after the big fish, writes Mayank Tewari.

india Updated: Jun 07, 2006 10:11 IST

Delhi Police may sniff a big success in Rahul Mahajan’s arrest, but the international policy of managing drug trafficking is to go after the big fish; the addict, who consumes but does not trade in narcotics, is a mere patient.

The big fish in this case are the three Nigerian peddlers arrested by the police and if they emerge scot-free, once again, it will not be surprising.

"No cocaine was recovered from them, something crucial in a drug trial," said a senior police official. "Many Nigerian cocaine peddlers have been acquitted in the past on similar grounds. Sahil, a middleman, on the other hand has a stronger case against him. Three people have testified that he purchased the five grams of cocaine (all agree it was five grams) for further sale," said a senior police officer.

Police officials handling cases pertaining to the Narcotic and Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act told the Hindustan Times that the police could easily have tightened the noose around Nigerian Abdullah, who sold the adulterated contraband to Sahil.

"Sahil had gone to buy cocaine. What he got instead was adulterated cocaine - possibly with heroin - from his "regular coke guy". He sold it further. One person died and one person was nearly dead by consuming adulterated cocaine and somehow no one is blaming Abdullah for it?” asked a police officer, who has investigated quite a few coke busts.

"The Delhi Police has been fighting them for years but they keep coming back at the same place — Priya Cinema Complex, Vasant Vihar,” said another senior police official.

Nigerian couriers are renowned for their agility and originality in transporting drugs, beating sleuths and sniffer dogs. “It is a well known that there is a coaching industry in Nigeria that teaches students the fine art of drug peddling,” said a senior police officer.

Sources said Nigerians speak on cell phones freely because no one can understand one of the many native dialects they choose for a particular conversation. They are well versed in nearly 15 African dialects. "Abdullah and his friends often talked in the Eboh dialect on their phones," said a police officer connected with the present drug overdose case.