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Wednesday, Nov 13, 2019

N-bomb alert in Mumbai: Cheaper LSD-like drug has cops on their toes

Mumbai city news: The synthetic drug, which has been popular in the west for over a decade, may be finding its way into Mumbai’s party circuit.

mumbai Updated: Jun 08, 2017 09:08 IST
Debasish Panigrahi
Debasish Panigrahi
Hindustan Times
(Picture for representation)

The N-bomb has been keeping the Mumbai police on its toes lately — not the deadly nuclear bomb, but a potent but much cheaper LSD-like drug.

The Anti Narcotics Cell said the synthetic drug, which has been popular in the west for over a decade, may be finding its way into Mumbai’s party circuit.

The police discovered the N-BOMe —street names include Smiley or N-bomb — had entered the country after the substance was found during two raids last year by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in Goa and Bangalore.

“We have alerted our informants and increased cyber surveillance,” said Shivdeep Lande, the deputy commissioner of police, ANC. Lande told HT the designer drug was a major concern for enforcement agencies in the west, as it has led to a lot of deaths.

So, what makes it so popular? Its price, said ANC sources.

While an LSD dot (which contains some micrograms of the liquid) costs between Rs6,000 and Rs8,000, the same amount of N-Bomb that would have the same psychedelic effect costs Rs3,000.

The drug has so far not been found in Mumbai during raids conducted by the NCB or the ANC.

But during two raids this year, the police discovered large quantities of LSD were being smuggled online in ways that go undetected — and the hunt for the N-bomb began. In March this year, the ANC recovered 1,400 LSD dots from five people, including two engineering students and a manager with a popular television channel. The recovered drug was worth Rs70 lakh. Their interrogation led to the arrest of a couple of LSD suppliers from Dahisar. The ANC recovered 46 dots from them.

In all this, what became clearer was how techno-savvy the smugglers had become. They were using the Dark Web — the hidden web used by drugs and arms traffickers as it bypasses cyber surveillance.

DCP Lande said the main accused in the Dahisar drug bust case, Samson Denson Rozario, 30, got the drug from a man he befriended during a trip to Nepal last year. “The order was placed over a masked site on the Dark Web and the stamp-sized paper dots were sent from the Netherlands to Mumbai by courier,” Lande said. Payment was made in Bitcoins, or virtual money.

The police believe the N-Bomb could also be brought into the city this way, and if so, it explains why the drug has not yet been found during raids Mumbai.

“We suspect the trade of the N-bomb is going on over the Dark Web. Keeping that in mind, we are taking help from cyber experts and have put our field operatives on high alert,” Lande said.

After the NCB’s findings in Bangalore and Goa, the N-Bomb was included in the list of scheduled banned drugs under the Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) act in July last year.

The potent N-bomb

Also known as?

“N-bomb” or “Smiley,”

What does it do?

It is a powerful, synthetic hallucinogen. It mimics LSD or mescaline, another hallucinogenic drug made from a cactus plant

The effect of even a small amount of the drug lasts for up to 12 hours or longer

The drug is placed under the tongue, injected, snorted or, its vapourised fume is inhaled

Some also insert the drug rectally

It will, however, have no effect if swallowed

Small doses have been fatal

The drug is sold in liquid or powdered form or on soaked blotter paper. Experts say it is so toxic, one may be exposed to a fatal overdose by not wearing gloves while just handling it.