The main accused in the ephedrine manufacturing scam, which was unearthed by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), tried to outsmart the authorities by protecting his identity. The NCB had conducted raids on two factories in Maharashtra and Gujarat and seized 331 kg of ephedrine, worth Rs 5 crore in the international market.
Faiyaz Ahmed Rasoon Shaikh, 38, who is a 50% partner in Raireshwar Organic Chemicals at Mahad, from where the NCB seized 93 kg ephedrine, chose to remain a silent partner to avoid any trouble.
According to a senior NCB officer, on paper, the Mahad factory had Santosh Chavan, 29, as 52% partner, Amit Kulkarni, 28, holding 24% shares, while a third person, who is still wanted by the NCB, holding another 24% partnership rights. "However, Shaikh remained anonymous in documents even though 50% of the investment was his," said the officer.
"The Mahad factory was up for sale two years back, and Kulkarni and Chavan decided to buy it to start their own legitimate chemical business," said the officer. At this point of time, Shaikh, who came to know about the factory sale, approached the two and offered 50% partnership, but chose to remain anonymous on paper.
Shaikh also lured them to get into ephedrine manufacturing business as it gave high returns. "The two got lured and decided to work as per Shaikh’s directions," added the officer.