IIM dropout, BBA, MBA students among 7 held for drugs smuggling through darknet

They were arrested in separate operations; LSD, MDMA, curated marijuana recovered from their possession: police

September 08, 2022 01:24 am | Updated 01:24 am IST - New Delhi

One of the drugs recovered from the accused

One of the drugs recovered from the accused | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Seven persons, including an IIM dropout and a fashion designer, have been arrested by the Delhi police for allegedly sourcing drugs such as LSD, MDMA and marijuana from abroad through darknet and supplying it to college and school students through courier service, officers said on Wednesday.

Darknet websites are usually encrypted and are used anonymously, mostly to commit cybercrimes and procure drugs, in order to hide any digital footprints, said the police.

The arrests were part of separate operations carried out by the police, which seized 28 blotting papers of LSD, 12.6 gm of MDMA, 84 gm of curated marijuana and 220 gm of hashish.

The police carried out an analysis of the modus operandi of the gangs involved in drugs smuggling through darknet and discovered that they involved youngsters as their primary consumers. “Students from both schools and colleges were first trapped into using drugs and then were lured into selling narcotics to others to fund their own addiction,” an officer said.

The contraband were supplied to schools, colleges, nightclubs, hotels and multinational companies. The drug module used to import curated marijuana from Russia, the U.S. and Canada through darknet and supply them to their target customers in India, the officer said.

“In India, narcotics are smuggled through two channels — one is the courier route from abroad where the consignment is received at the Foreign Post Office and the second is transportation through road from Nepal and delivery through domestic courier service in sealed packets,” the officer said. The sealed consignments generally go unchecked at courier collection offices, making them easy routes for drug smuggling, said the officer.

“The accused also used app-based delivery services to send the consignment to their clients. The customers were asked to order products or food items through delivery apps and the consignment was packed with the product to be delivered to the destination,” the officer added.

The accused were communicating with their clients through VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) applications like Wicker and other private messaging applications in order to prevent call tracking, the police said.

Deals through cryptocurrency

Sale and purchase of drugs through darknet have been a common modus operandi for suppliers. “One can change their IP address by using VPN (virtual private network) and get in touch with dealers on the type and quantity of drugs required, following which a deal is struck and the transaction is made, mostly through cryptocurrency,” an officer with the Cyber Cell said. “We track these websites on darknet and once we detect suspicious activity, we start narrowing down on the user.”

In one operation, based on a tip-off, a 22-year-old MBA student was arrested from Wazirabad Road and 84 gm of curated marijuana was recovered from his possession. “During interrogation, his supplier was found to be a BBA passout, who was arrested from Chhattarpur,” said DCP Anti-Narcotics Task Force K.P.S. Malhotra.

In the second operation, another person, an IIM dropout, was arrested from Kirti Nagar. The police recovered 28 blotting papers of LSD and 12.06 gm of MDMA from his possession. He said he had been dealing in party drugs for the last three years and disclosed the name of his supplier who was subsequently arrested from Paschim Vihar, the police said. Another accused, who worked as a fashion designer, was arrested from Gurugram.

In the third operation, two persons travelling in a car were arrested from the Burari flyover and 220 gm of ‘Malana cream’ hashish — a drug which is procured from Malana village in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh — was recovered from their possession. Both of them were found to have been booked in an NDPS Act case in April in Himachal Pradesh and had come out of jail on May 2, the police said.

A senior police officer said a consumer of drug can have immunity from prosecution if the person wishes to rehabilitate, but in drugs trafficking cases, the quantum of punishment increases with the quantity of the drug recovered. “As far as LSD is concerned, 0.1 gm is a commercial quantity and the stringent provision of Section 37 of NDPS Act is applicable where there is no provision of bail," the officer said.

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