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Rs28-lakh heroin haul in Mumbai: Cartels may have found new routes to smuggle drug into India

Officials fear that drugs from the Golden Triangle — routes across Mayanmar, Thailand and Laos — are their finding way into Mumbai via Bangladesh

mumbai Updated: Feb 16, 2018 13:13 IST
Manish K Pathak
Manish K Pathak
Hindustan Times
drug haul,Mumbai crime,drug smuggling
On Wednesday, the ANC arrested two men and recovered 260 g heroin worth Rs28 lakh from them.(HT File)

With the arrest of two people in connection with a drug racket in Vikhroli on Wednesday, the anti-narcotics cell (ANC) fears that cross- border drug cartels have changed the modus operandi used to smuggle high-quality heroin into Mumbai. Officials suspect that instead of using India’s western corridors, cartels have begun using routes in the eastern part of the country for the first time.

On Wednesday, the ANC arrested Subrata Amalendu Banerjee and Krimul Rejaul Karim Haq and recovered 260 g heroin worth Rs28 lakh from them. Banerjee, a native of Bandipur in West Bengal, worked as a courier, said officials. A supplier from Murshidabad district in West Bengal — which shares a border with Bangladesh — handed over a consignment to him, which he was to deliver to Haq in Mumbai.

Past cases
  • On February 13, the anti-narcotics cell’s Worli unit arrested Amina Hamja Shaikh, alias Laali, 49, from Mankhurd and recovered heroin worth Rs2.5 lakh from her. She had been arrested by the ANC’s Ghatkopar unit in 2012 and by the Worli unit in 2015 for possession of heroin.
  • On January 17, the ANC’s Worli unit arrested Merry Kannan Tewar, 30, from Wadala and recovered 272 g of heroin worth Rs27 lakh from her.

Banerjee confessed to transporting contraband from his hometown to destinations in north India, but said this was his first assignment in Mumbai.

“We fear that drugs from the Golden Triangle — routes across Mayanmar, Thailand and Laos — are their finding way into the city via Bangladesh,” said an ANC official.

He added that the heroin racket has traditionally been run by cartels operating in the ‘Golden Crescent’ —Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. From these places, the drug is smuggled into Mumbai and other parts of the country via porous parts of the Pakistan border and via Rajasthan and Punjab.

Officials, however, suspect that the heightened state of alert on the western borders has now forced cartels to shift their supply base to Bangladesh, where scrutiny is not as intense.

“We are trying to figure out the new drug smuggling pattern,” said ANC chief Shivdeep Lande.

Officials said Haq, who is also from Murshidabad district, came to Mumbai a decade ago and had been staying at an apartment in Siddhivinayak Building near Amol Garden in Kalyan (East). “Haq told us he works in the fish industry, but we will verify his claims and question his neighbours to find out more,” said an ANC official.

Both accused were produced in court on Thursday and remanded in police custody till February 20. After questioning Banerjee, a police team will visit West Bengal to ascertain who his supplier was.

First Published: Feb 16, 2018 11:33 IST