Little did residents of the posh Ekdant cooperative housing society (CHS), located just 200 metres away from the Oshiwara police station, knew that Mephedrone (MD) was being manufactured in a flat within their locality and was being distributed all over Mumbai.
On Monday, the residents were in for a rude shock when sleuths of the anti-terrorism squad (ATS), Charkop unit, under inspector Subhash Sawant raided the 3BHK fifth floor flat in the society, a few metres away from Meera CHS, home to several IPS officers.
According to ATS officials, the MD prepared in the flat was being supplied to those frequenting nightclubs in and around Mumbai. Sources said MD is mostly used by nightclubs goers and call centre employees, who consume it to stay awake during the night. Most of the slums are biggest centres for the sale of MD, sources said.
According to sources in the ATS, the police had received a tip-off about the drug manufacturing nearly two week ago. The ATS officials first verified the information and surveyed the spot before conducting the Monday raid. According to eyewitnesses, the security men were asked not to leave their place and the search continued for more than 12 hours.
The police found several air conditioners in the flat that were used to contain the smell of the drug. The accused used to work only at night, said the police.
The flat was rented by one of the accused Sajid Electricalwala on the name of another accused Sachin Bagul around a month ago. The ATS officers are yet to find the rent agreement of the flat, the owner of which is not a Mumbai resident. The police are trying to find the person who helped the four accused rent the flat.
When a HT team visited the society, residents were yet to recover from the shock of the raid. One of the watchmen, Ramchandra Goswami, told HT that the police had never come to the society. “A few days ago, a tempo with six to seven sacks came for the residents of the fifth floor flat. I asked one of the guys what was in the sacks, to which one of the residents said they contained food items to be distributed during Ramzan,” he said.
Goswami said most of the watchmen were asked to not to leave the premises during the raid.