Monday, March 13, 2017

Major Narcotics Bust In India – 24 Arrested

The narcotics squad of Bengaluru’s crime department arrested two persons on Thursday who are suspected of selling drugs to students in India. Earlier this week, law enforcement authorities in the city detained two other suspects, a catering student and an Austrian national, who also sold illicit substances.

The local authorities in Bengaluru conducted a major operation against narcotics dealers. Since the beginning of January, they started an investigation in 12 cases, which resulted in the arrest of 24 suspects, including 14 foreign nationals. This month, police performed nine drug busts, seizing large quantities of cocaine, LSD, and methamphetamine. According to The Times of India, this has been the biggest crackdown on the narcotics trade in Bengaluru.

“We have been examining the drug trade with inputs from the gang members and informers and have ascertained a few key locations in the city. MG Road, CMH Road, and Old Madras Road are key spots where people buy drugs. African nationals are the main dealers and operate from Hennur, Banaswadi, Ramamurthy Nagar and Hennur,” an officer from the narcotics squad said.

On Thursday, following a tip-off, law enforcement authorities searched a house on Hosur Road in Bommanahalli, arresting two Bangladeshi nationals.

“They were in possession of 40 yaba tablets (a mixture of methamphetamine and caffeine). The two young men had Bengaluru-based Aadhaar cards, voter IDs, and driving licenses. They sold drugs to students and young professionals and would deliver the drugs to specific locations,” an investigating officer said. The two suspects, Johny Khan alias Sujan, 26, and Raja Khan alias Rajob, 23, were dealing narcotics for a couple of years, he said.

On Monday, law enforcement authorities detained Varghese Mathew, a 22-year-old catering student in Goa, and Manuela Riedl, a 24-year-old Austrian national. Police arrested the two suspects at a hotel in HSR Layout. The duo allegedly sold morning glory seeds (a hallucinogenic substance similar to LSD), LSD blotters, MDMA, and marijuana to customers.

Narcotic dealers cross-check the time and place with the customers and then use bikes to get to the drop points, hand over the goods, and collect their payment.

“The exchange doesn’t last more than 30 seconds as both buyer and seller are wary of cops,” said Sumesh (name changed for security reasons), a drug user whose rendezvous point was Pai Layout, Mahadevapura.

Since there were 12 Nigerian nationals and a Ugandan national among the 24 suspects, the narcotics squad in Bengaluru have increased the surveillance on locations, where African nationals are suspected of trading with drugs. According to police information, the criminals purchase the substances from the dark web. “Agents” directly from South American countries smuggle the narcotics into the country, which gang members in Goa, Delphi, and Mumbai receive through couriers.

“We are closely monitoring some hangouts and pubs in KR Puram, Kammanahalli and Marathahalli were we suspect drug peddling,” an officer investigating the case added.