Maha ephedrine haul case: Accused gets threats not to turn approver

  • Press Trust of India, Hindustan Times, Thane
  • Updated: Jun 30, 2016 12:11 IST
Anti narcotics cell officers with the three accused (Praful Gangurde/Hindustan Times)

An accused in the recently busted multi-crore drug racket case here has allegedly been threatened by the drug mafia in Thane jail not to turn approver in the case, the prosecution has informed a local court.

The accused, Punit Shringi, a former senior official of Avon Lifesciences Ltd, who was till recently lodged in Thane Jail and is in custody of Gujarat ATS, informed the police and the prosecution about the threat to eliminate him if he records his statement before the magistrate, special public prosecutor Shishir Hiray, told the court of special judge and district judge HM Patwardhan on Wednesday.

Hiray said this in court while contesting the bail pleas of some of the accused arrested in the multi-crore drug racket involving Avon Lifesciences.

Earlier, the Thane police had told the media that one of the arrested persons in the case had in a statement under Section 164 of the CrPC given details of the modus operandi and about the crucial meetings held in Kenya and Dubai regarding the ephedrine sale.

Read: Raids on Solapur pharma firms still on, more ephedrine seized

The police were also trying to record Shringi’s statement under the CrPC Section 164, which is crucial to the investigation in the case.

Recently, former actress Mamta Kulkarni was named as a prime accused in the multi-crore drug racket linked to drug baron Vicky Goswami, with Mumbai police claiming that she was actively involved in the illicit activities.

Police have initiated the process for extradition of Kulkarni and Goswami, who are said to be in a relationship and are currently based in Kenya.

Shringi is a key link in the drug cartel, as the operation and the work of processing raw ephedrine and its transportation was allegedly supervised by him.

There are 17 accused in the case, of whom seven are still at large. The remaining 10 were arrested and are in judicial custody.

The drug racket came to light when police seized around 18.5 tonne of ephedrine, worth approximately Rs 2,000 crore, after raiding the premises of Avon Lifesciences Ltd in Maharashtra’s Solapur district in April.

According to police, ephedrine, which is a controlled drug, was allegedly being diverted from the Solapur unit of Avon Lifesciences and sent abroad after processing.

The ephedrine powder is used for sniffing and is also used in producing popular party drug methamphetamine.

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