Police arrest four, claim to have busted international drug racket

Hindustan Times | By, Mumbai
Apr 27, 2010 01:35 AM IST

The Sahar police arrested four men from Mumbai on Saturday, who allegedly smuggled drugs abroad with the help of international links.

The Sahar police arrested four men from Mumbai on Saturday, who allegedly smuggled drugs abroad with the help of international links.

HT Image
HT Image

The racket, spread across Mauritius, Tanzania, Holland and India, came to light a month ago when one of the smugglers, Sudhakar Pujari (32), who was about to board a flight to Mauritius, fainted at the airport.

The airport authorities admitted him to a hospital where his x-ray suggested he had drug capsules in his stomach. The police were informed a week after his admission.

They recovered 39 capsules containing 103 g of cocaine from his stomach. The contraband was worth more than Rs 4 lakh.

Deputy Commissioner of Police (Zone VIII), Brijesh Singh said the police found Pujari was an employee of a college canteen. Since Pujari was unconscious they could not question him.

So they searched his bank account and found Rs 37,000 in it, a significant amount for someone with his job.

They checked his ticket details and found he was going to Mauritius on a ticket booked by Jahid Yusuf Kabli (42). “When we tracked the account of Kabli, we found he had Rs 1.13 lakh transferred to him from Holland,” said Singh.

The police then laid a trap and arrested the Kabli and his two accomplices. “When the police questioned them, they found that Kabli along with Ashfak Shaikh (40) and Alex Richard Ilango alias Uncle (56) had fed Pujari the capsules at Kabli’s house at Mahim,” said Singh. They promised Pujari Rs one lakh for carrying the contraband, Singh said.

After the arrest, police found 200 grams of brown sugar hidden in the cavity of Kabli’s shoe.

The police said Ilango was released from jail in 2008 after serving a 10-year prison sentence for peddling drugs. Ilango and Ashfak ordered the drugs from outside the state and brought it to Mumbai to be smuggled to Mauritius, while Kabli was in charge of travel bookings.

“This contraband was to be delivered to someone in Mauritius. We are now finding out who was to receive it,” Singh said. “Uncle is a wholesaler of drugs. He has sent people abroad with huge contrabands in the past,” Singh said.

The Sahar police learnt that Ilango’s nephew, Gauri Shankar, Ashfak’s brother Babbu, and Kabli’s relative were lodged in a Mauritius jail.

“Babbu wanted money to pay his lawyer. Therefore the jailed trio planned the drug smuggling by contacting their three relatives in Mumbai using cellphones. The relatives then hired Pujari in Mumbai to smuggle the drugs,” Singh said.

“We will now contact the Mauritius government and ask them to investigate the matter as prisoners are only allowed to use phones to call their lawyers.”

Singh said if one of the capsules had not burst in Pujari's stomach, he would not have fainted. “That would have made it impossible for us to find out he was smuggling drugs.”

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