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Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019

In a major drug bust, Mumbai police seize liquid MD worth Rs7.5-crore, two held

The drugs were meant to be sold in Mumbai and its suburbs.

mumbai Updated: Apr 16, 2018 11:49 IST
Jayprakash S Naidu
Jayprakash S Naidu
Hindustan Times
The chemical factory in Badlapur (East) was raided on Saturday.
The chemical factory in Badlapur (East) was raided on Saturday.(HT Photo)

In one of the biggest drug hauls in recent times, the Amboli police raided a chemical factory in Badlapur (East) and seized 75 litres of liquid mephedrone (MD) valued at Rs7.5 crore on Saturday night. They have arrested two people, including an undertrial who is said to be the kingpin.

This is the first time that the Mumbai police have seized liquid MD since the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) did so in August last year, said a police officer.

The arrested accused are Naryanbhai Mangaldas Patel, 74, and Shahid Hussain Sher Mohammad Shah, 27. Patel, a chemistry graduate, was earlier arrested by DRI. After getting bail in the case, he had allegedly started manufacturing MD, said the officer. Patel is a resident of New Vikas CHS on Manpada Road in Dombivli (East).

Acting on a tip-off received by investigating officer Daya Nayak, Shah was arrested from Shyamnagar slum on Veera Desai Road in Andheri (West) early on Saturday. He was caught with 300gram of MD (powder) valued at Rs6 lakh. During questioning, he gave Patel away.

Paramjit Singh Dahiya, DCP of Zone 9, formed a special team that raided Sharda Chemicals at MIDC area in Badlapur (East) on Saturday night. The police are unsure as for how long he has been running the factory.

Senior inspector Bharat Gaikwad of Amboli police station said, “We have seized three blue plastic cans filled with 75 litres of liquid MD valued at Rs7.50 crore in the market.”

The factory was being run by Patel, who was arrested a few years ago in a drug smuggling case. He had spent 14 months in jail and was recently granted bail. The two accused were produced before a magistrate’s court on Sunday and were sent to police custody till April 17. The police have sealed the factory unit so evidence cannot be tempered with. They said they will check bank accounts of Shah and Patel for the money trail.

The drugs were meant to be sold in Mumbai and its suburbs.

Shift towards liquid MD

“MD has of late been consumed in liquid form rather than in powder form. This is because liquid MD is more potent. Addicts consume the drug either by mixing it in drinks or injecting it into their veins. Liquid MD sells at Rs10 lakh a litre,” said the officer. The police said liquid MD has been in demand in Gujarat for a few years. However, this trend is shifting to Mumbai. “Peddlers adulterate MD by mixing it with monosodium glutamate ( a powder used in food products) to increase its weight. MD in liquid form is purest because it can’t be adulterated with anything else. Even one or two drops of liquid are enough to intoxicate a person,” said an officer.

The police said that MD is consumed by college students and struggling actors and models. The police suspect that there more people are involved in the case. In 2015, MD was added to the list of banned drugs under Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.