The Palghar drug seizure helped Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) officials stumble upon a larger racket after investigations revealed that one of the accused had allegedly supplied raw materials to a man arrested by the state anti-terrorism squad (ATS) in 2015. The ATS had arrested 43-year-old Sajid Electricalwala in 2015 after raiding his Oshiwara flat.
“During investigations, we learned that the main accused in the Palghar seizure, Bhanudas More, 53, was staying in a rented flat under a fake name,” said a DRI officer.
“More admitted that he was being cautious so as to avoid coming under the scanner of the ATS as he had supplied Electricalwala with acetone and distilled water,” added the DRI officer.
“While acetone and distilled water are not banned substances, we are investigating what Electricalwala intended to use them for ,” the officer added.
In 2015, the ATS laid a trap to arrest four people for setting up a mephedrone-producing laboratory in an Oshiwara flat, around 200m from the police station. Acting on a tip-off, they sealed the building’s entrance and exits before raiding it. The police seized 151.50kg of mephedrone, making it one of their biggest seizures. They also found trays, chemicals and other utensils used to manufacture the banned substance.
The four arrested in the case were Electricalwala, Sachin Bagul, 41; Chandrakant Katade, 34; and Rahul Salunkhe, 30. ATS sources said Electricalwala had technical knowledge of how to make drugs.More had been declared as an absconder in the case, said DRI officials.
“The manufacturers and sellers are interlinked. Just like smugglers have a common network, those in the drug trade are also well-connected,” said the officer.