Pratima Prasad, (40), needed a lot of money to get her husband treated at a top private hospital in the city. She also needed to provide for her daughter’s education. But her only source of income was her food stall at Guru Tegh Bahadur Nagar in Sion. Her need for money drove Prasad to peddle drugs. She was arrested on March 30 with 40 kg of ganja.
Prasad is not the only woman involved in drug peddling in the city. The Anti-Narcotics Cell (ANC) officers have started concentrating on women peddlers and suppliers in the city as according to them the drug mafia of the city, over the years, has been taken over by women.
The ANC, a part of the Mumbai crime branch has prepared a data of 70 middle-aged women and 25 elderly women who have become kingpins and wholesalers of drugs in the city.
“We have been keeping an eye on them,” said Sunil Paraskar, deputy commissioner of police (ANC). “Women have been involved in this business since early times but recently there was an increase in the number of women busted for supplying and peddling drugs,” said an ANC officer on the condition of anonymity. “According to our observations the city’s drug mafia have more than 60 women who have become kingpins,” added the officer.
Unlike the Nigerian peddlers, women are difficult to trace and search, he said. “We are now working out the details from
where these prominent women peddlers and suppliers import drugs from,” he added.
A senior official said many of these women have got the business in legacy. “Husbands of many were in this business who are now either behind bars, suffer from some medical problem or have died,” said the official.
The secondary reason for them to have got into this business is easy money and the fact that frisking them is difficult.
Prominent women peddlers in the list include Nafiza (45) who is a supplier of hashish in the dockyard area.