Synthetic drug manufacturing unit busted in Bengaluru
Bengaluru: The Central Crime Branch (CCB) raided a synthetic drug manufacturing unit and arrested a Nigerian national in Bengaluru on Wednesday. Following the raid, four kilograms of MDMA, a psychoactive drug worth approximately ₹2 crore was seized, said police.
Sandeep Patil, the joint commissioner of police (crime), said the arrested man, identified as John, rented a house in Electronics City to manufacture the synthetic drugs. “He used to produce the drugs in the house using raw materials collected from medical stores in the city, and sold them with the help of a network of associates,” he said.
The gang used to supply drugs in various parts of the city by storing them in a hidden compartment in a custom-made shoe. “Apart from selling it in Bengaluru, they sent it to New Zealand as well,” Patil added.
The officer added that during the raid, documents related to the couriers sent abroad were found. “Since the tracking number was available, we have asked for these packages to be returned. We will use this as evidence in the court,” the officer said.
Patil said that raw materials used by the suspects were easily available in the market. It still remains unclear how John learned to make the synthetic drug. “The quantity found at the house, which is around 4 kg, is a large quantity. The drug is sold in grams and he had enough stock to last a while. But this is a rare incident of drugs being manufactured in the city, we don’t have any information about any such manufacturing units,” he said.
Bengaluru police commissioner Kamal Pant said that John came to Bengaluru around a month back, before which he was living in New Delhi since 2018.
“The interrogation of the suspect is underway. We have found leftover raw materials at the house, which clearly indicates that he was manufacturing the substance there. Following the interrogation and arrest of his associates, we will be able to get more information about the racket,” Pant said.
Officers in the CCB said that police raided the house based on a tip-off. Following the raid, large quantities of raw materials such as acetone, hypophosphorous acid, plain acid, sodium hydroxide among others were found. The police have also seized measuring cylinder plastic, heating mantle, flask boiling, face mask, PH measure stick, hose pipe, panel, and shoes used to transport the crystals.
This is the first time such a manufacturing unit has been located by the police, who are on the lookout for other suspects in the case.
As per the data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Bengaluru recorded the second-highest number of cases under the (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985). In 2020, Bengaluru booked 2,766 cases under NDPS, second to Mumbai which recorded 3,509 cases. This was a considerable increase in comparison to 768 cases registered in 2019.
Pant said that the increase in the number of cases is the result of an ongoing campaign against drugs in the city.
“In 2020, the number of cases registered under NDPS has gone up. These numbers will be much higher in 2021 since our teams have been relentlessly chasing drug traffickers in the city. We have reported some of the biggest drug busts in the state this year,” Pant said.