Mephedrone accounted for 35% of the value of 11 different drugs seized by the anti-narcotics cell of the Mumbai crime branch last year, which also included cocaine, ganja, hashish and LSD.
The police registered 114 cases of drug possession in 2016. The total value of the drugs seized was Rs1.86 crore, of which mephedrone accounted for Rs 65.86 lakh from 19 cases.
An anti-narcotics official, who did not wish to be named, said, “MD (mephedrone) popular among youngsters and those who can’t afford cocaine as it sells for Rs2,000 a gram. The rich go for cocaine.”
He added that another reason youngsters choose MD over Ganja is that it is easier to consume and don’t not leave an odour. “Ganja has a strong smell and one can easily detect it. But MD leaves no odour and is easier to consume,” said the official. MD is a relatively recent drug and was only included in the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act in 2015.
According to figures from the anti-narcotics cell, 19 cases involving MD were registered in 2016, in which 27 peddlers were arrested. The police seized 3.3kg of the drug worth Rs 65.86 lakh.
MD was followed by cocaine, of which the police seized 360 gram, valued at Rs 46.15 lakh. They registered 17 cases and arrested 22 peddlers.
Ganja, on the other hand, was the cheapest and most abundant of the 11 drugs. The police seized about 240 kg of the drug, valued at Rs25.16 lakh, registered 45 cases and arrested 51 peddlers.