Mumbai man supplied methamphetamine during lockdown, held with drugs worth Rs 35 lakh
A 36-year-old Mumbai resident was arrested after seizure of 340 g of methamphetamine drug worth Rs 35 lakh from his car on Thursday, said an official.
Rohan Gawans, who lives in Mumbai’s Malad area, was arrested by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).The drug was found in his car parked in the compound of the residential society where he lives.
The DRI also raided a factory, Rohan Chemicals Private Limited, in the same area and seized raw material used to manufacture the drug. The factory is owned by Rohan and his family.
Gawans was produced before a court on Friday and sent to judicial custody till May 13.
Methamphetamine, commonly known as ‘ice’ among drug users, is a recreational drug which is also less commonly used as a second line of treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and obesity.
Rohan was earlier arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in July 2017 from the Mumbai international airport based on a lookout notice, but came out on bail after spending 17 months in prison, said DRI officials.
DRI conducted the raid on Thursday after the agency received reliable inputs about the drug being concealed in a golden-coloured Toyata Innova vehicle parked at Marvel Arch Cooperative Housing Society near Mittal College in Malad (West). This is the society where Rohan Gawans lives.
Officials said that a search of the vehicle was conducted in the presence of Rohan Gawans, and the drug was found concealed neatly inside the spare tyre attached to the rear end of the vehicle.
A senior DRI official, requesting anonymity said, “Investigations so far indicate that Rohan used to step out regularly to supply drugs to his regular clients during lockdown. He was taking advantage of the lockdown conditions while police officials were busy dealing with Covid-19. Also, he took it as an opportunity to earn more money as those who consumed it would not hesitate to pay him two to three times the regular price.”
The countrywide lockdown to curb the spread of coronavirus that first began on March 25., has been extended twice since then. It will now end on May 17. The latest announcement of extending the lockdown was made on Friday by the Centre.
In the 2017 case, the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) had also named his father Prabhakar Gawans for helping Rohan manufacture drugs in the factory. The NCB too had raided the factory in 2017 and found raw materials including 4-Methylpropiophenone and Potassium Dichromate used to manufacture the drug. We are investigating how the factory started operating again,” said DRI officials.
DRI is now analysing Rohan’s phone calls and contact details to know about his associates and clients, and is also investigating his bank accounts and transactions. Gawans has been booked under relevant sections of Narcotics Drug and Psychotropic Substances Act, said DRI officials.