The Thane anti-narcotics cell and crime branch have seized Rs2,000 crore worth of ephedrine, a recreational drug, at Solapur in the past week.
Last Sunday, Okhay Sipren Chinnas, 30, from Nigeria, was arrested from Vartak Nagar for possession of half a kilogram of ephedrine worth Rs12.50 lakh. After two days, two Raigad residents were arrested by cops from the Thane crime branch unit-3 and Thane anti-narcotics cell at Shildaighar. A total of 2kg of ephedrine worth Rs80 lakh was seized from the duo.
The two accused were identified as Sagar Powale, 28, who works for a private company and Mayur Sukhdare, 25, who works with a pharmaceutical company in Navi Mumbai. The duo revealed the place from where they used to get the drug in Solapur.
Amol Walzade, sub-inspector, anti-narcotics cell said, “We then made two teams and sent them to the place. The accused also told us from whom they used to buy it. When we reached the place at Solapur a day before yesterday [Thursday], we found the dealer, Dhaneshwar Rajaram Swami, 28, a resident of Solapur.”
“When we arrested him, he told us about a manager of a pharmaceutical company at Chincholi, MIDC in Solapur who was involved. We then traced and arrested the manager, Rajendra Jagdamba Prasad Dimbri, 48,” Walzade added.
Walzade said a pharmaceutical company, Avon Life sciences limited, where Rajendra used to work was the main centre for producing the drugs. “We investigated the factory and seized the drugs,” said Walzade.
The cops seized 18.5 tonnes of the drug which costs around Rs2,000 crore. The drugs will be brought back to Thane. Prambir Singh, Thane commissioner said, “The five arrested were produced in court and they have been remanded in police custody till April 20. This drug has a market in Europe and Poland and we came to know that these drugs were exported to there. We are trying to find out if more people are involved. This one of the biggest drug hauls in history,” said Prambir Singh, police commissioner. Meanwhile, the Gujarat police crime branch asked Thane police for more information about the drug as they are looking to bust a smuggling racket.