The demand for cocaine appears to be on the rise in Mumbai. The anti-narcotic cell (ANC) of Mumbai police has seized 765 grams of cocaine worth Rs.45.75 lakh in the last two months.
The statistics are cause for concern since because between January and February 2012, only 88 grams of cocaine worth Rs4.12 lakh was seized.
“A 10-fold increase in the seizure would essentially mean that demand has gone up considerably. Primarily because, unlike marijuana or its by-products, cocaine is far too expensive to be sold on the street, and is supplied only on demand,” said deputy commissioner of police, ANC, Kishor Jadhav.
A gram of cocaine would cost anywhere between Rs.5,000 and Rs.7,000. Interrogations reveal that the peddlers pack cocaine in small packets ranging from 2 grams to 5 grams based on the requirement of the customer, said an ANC official.
“The cost is such that only the elite can afford to buy cocaine. And when one looks at the cases registered, most cocaine seizures have been made in south Mumbai and Bandra, where the rich live,” said the officer.
In 2013, the Azad Maidan police station has already registered eight cases of cocaine peddling and has seized over 250 grams.
The lanes of Masjid Bunder, which have been notorious for drug deals, are being heavily policed.
It is in this area that the Anti-Narcotic Cell (ANC), which has seized substances like heroin, cocaine, cannabis and raw forms of opium worth Rs.56.50 lakh this year, has made maximum seizures.
Even the latest arrest of three African nationals with 100 grams of cocaine on February 21 was made in this area.