Nine more arrested in Rs 20 crore MD seizure case in Pune

The crime branch officials of the Pimpri-Chinchwad police arrested nine more persons, including a Nigerian national and a Chhota Rajan aide, in connection with the Rs 20 crore mephedrone (MD) racket that was busted earlier this month.

The accused arrested by police used to manufacture drugs at a factory in Ranjangaon MIDC and sold them at high prices in various markets in Pune and Mumbai.

While the PCMC police have already seized mephedrone (MD) worth Rs 20 crore in the market, other material worth Rs 90 lakh was confiscated and properties worth Rs 75 lakh has been attached this week.

PCMC police chief Krishna Prakash said that the arrested persons had planned to start the second drug manufacturing factory in Palghar district of Thane and had bought two-acre land from the proceeds which they had earned by selling the banned 112kg MD.

“Earlier, we had arrested five persons with 20 kg MD worth Rs 20 crore on October 7. After that we had formed six teams to further investigate the case and unearthed the racket,” said Prakash.

During the course of the investigation, it was revealed that the accused had conspired to manufacture MD at a defunct factory, Sanyog Biotech Pvt Ltd, at Ranjangaon MIDC. They had manufactured 132kg of MD in December 2019 of which they sold 112kg and 20kg has been seized from their possession. The kingpin behind the drugs racket has been identified Tushar Suryakant Kale, who is a resident of Borivali and has been linked to the Chhota Rajan gang and another notorious criminal Rakesh Shrikant Khanivdekar alias Rocky of Vasai. It is a major breakthrough and such crackdowns will continue to break the back of the criminal syndicates operating in the region, said Prakash.

Among the nine fresh arrests, police have apprehended a Nigerian national identified as Jubu Ukodo, a resident of Vasai, who has been charged with selling the 112kg of MD. He had earlier served 10 years’ imprisonment in Kolhapur jail in a drugs case. He has also been accused of tampering with a visa document and a separate case will be filed against him, investigators said.

On October 7, the large scale racket was busted after senior police inspector Shriram Pol had received a tip off regarding the operations of the syndicate. Following the input, the police team had nabbed Anandgir Madhugir Gosavi (25), Chetan Fakkad Dandavate (28), Sanjiv Kumar Bansi Raut (44), Akshay Shivaji Kale (25), and Tausif Hasan Mohammad Taslim (31), on Chakan-Shikrapur road wherein 20kg of MD were seized from their possession. Akshay Kale had kept the drugs at his house and they were seized while he was going to sell them in the market.

As the investigation progressed, the PCMC police arrested Kiran Rajguru, Ashok Sankpal and Kiran Kale who informed them that drugs were manufactured at Sanyog Biotech Pvt Ltd in Rajangaon MIDC. Accordingly, the factory was raided, contraband recovered and sealed. Tushar Kale and Khanvidekar emerged as the gang leaders and separate teams were deployed who searched for them at different places in Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Vasai, Nasik and Palghar.

Tushar Kale and Rocky had planned about setting up a drug factory despite being in jail and had hired Ashok Sankpal’s Sanyog Biotech company, which was defunct. Kiran Kale who works as a director with another company in the same area had intervened with Sankpal and the other accused in the case . A meeting was held at his office where it was decided to produce MD at the rate of Rs 60,000 per kg. Tushar Kale had paid Rs 67 lakh as advance money for buying a large quantity of drugs. The police have frozen all their bank accounts and also attached two-acre land in Palsai village in Palghar district .

By Hindustan Times

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