Staff Reporter

6 kg opium, valued at Rs.1 crore, recovered

Accused involved in drug supply all over the State

Police on the lookout for his accomplices

Kozhikode: The city police have arrested a person on charge of smuggling and distributing opium in the State. A team of officers, acting on a tip-off, picked Vettikattil Abdul Khader, 49, hailing from Pandikkad in Malappuram district from the Martyr’s Column on the South beach here on Sunday night. The team recovered six kg opium valued at Rs. 1 crore in the international market.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (South) K.R. Premachandran and Town station Circle Inspector A.J. Babu said here on Monday that Abdul Khader was involved in the wholesale distribution of opium in the State. He was charged under Section 21 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.

Vehicle seized

Four packets, each containing a kilogram of opium, were found concealed in a bag. Two similar packets were seized from a Qualis van in which he was travelling. The vehicle was also taken into custody.

Last week the city police busted a drug racket involved in the smuggling and distribution of brown sugar and ganja in north Kerala. Three persons, K. Chandran, his wife Qamerunissa and her son-in-law, Shabir, were arrested. Nearly 650 gm brown sugar and two kg ganja were seized from them. The drugs are worth Rs. 75 lakh in the international market.

The police have sounded an alert to nab drug peddlers associated with Abdul Khader in the city and suburbs. The opium was procured from Mumbai.

Strong network

Abdul Khader has established a strong network of peddlers throughout the State, Mr. Premachandran said. The accused had told the police that the city had a fairly large number of opium users and that he used to sell a substantial quantity in Kozhikode alone. He has been in the opium trafficking business for the past five years. Abdul Khader left for Mumbai when he was 10 years old. Earlier he was engaged in smuggling rice from Mangalore to the State.

A case was registered at the Town Station. He was produced in the court and remanded in judicial custody for two weeks.