A resident of Antop Hill was arrested and 6.5 kilogram of charas — approximately worth Rs 5.2 lakh — that was concealed in the CNG cylinder of the car he was driving, was seized by the Anti-Narcotics Cell (ANC) on Tuesday.
Acting on a tip-off, the ANC officials arrested 22-year-old Nitin Chikne near Bandra-Kurla complex from a grey Maruti Swift car registered in Uttar Pradesh. Preliminary interrogations have revealed that the banned substance was being transported from Jammu and Kashmir to Mumbai.
Chikne also led ANC officials to another vehicle, a Toyota Qualis, parked nearby which also had an Uttar Pradesh number plate. The ANC recovered narcotics from the Qualis as well. The operation also led to the uncovering of a new modus operandi that is being used to smuggle narcotics into the city.
“The smugglers cut the sealed CNG cylinders open and made cavities inside in which they concealed charas, and resealed them. The cylinders have a capacity of 35 kg, and 6.5 kg of charas, valued at approximately Rs 5.2 lakh, was found in the cylinders seized by us,” said Bhanulal Jadav, senior police inspector of ANC’s Worli unit, who led the operation.
“Due to the changed modus operandi, it became difficult to trace the source. Based on the tip-off received by the Worli unit of ANC on Monday, we learnt that the way of smuggling had changed,” said Sunil Paraskar, DCP of Mumbai Anti-Narcotics Cell.
After identifying the car, the ANC officials asked the accused to explain why a car running on petrol needed a CNG cylinder, to which he had no reply. “The smugglers have been transporting the drugs using this method for the past 6 to 8 months from Kashmir,” said Paraskar.