Mephedrone worth ₹2,000 crore seized in Pune, New Delhi; 5 persons held

700 kg of mephedrone (also known as ‘meow meow’) was seized from different locations in Pune district, including Kurkumbh MIDC area on the city’s outskirts, after the arrest of the trio and their subsequent interrogation

February 21, 2024 04:06 am | Updated 04:06 am IST - PUNE

Pune police have seized 1,100 kg of synthetic stimulant drug mephedrone, estimated to be worth more than ₹2,000 crore, following raids in Pune district and New Delhi, and arrested three persons in this connection while also detaining two others, officials said on Tuesday.

The three persons arrested in connection with the biggest-ever drug seizure by the Pune police were booked under provisions of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, they said, adding that the two other men are being questioned.

Pune police commissioner Amitesh Kumar said 700 kg of mephedrone (also known as MD) was seized from different locations in Pune district, including the Kurkumbh MIDC area on the city's outskirts, after the arrest of the trio on Sunday and their subsequent interrogation.

Based on inputs provided by the accused, the Pune police on Tuesday evening seized another 400 kg of mephedrone from two godown-like structures in south Delhi, he said.

Mr. Kumar said with this, the total seizure stood at a whopping 1,100 kg.

A police officer from the Pune crime branch said though the process of seizure was still going on, the value of the contraband was estimated to be more than ₹2,000 crore.

He said preliminary investigations have revealed mephedrone was transported from Kurkumbh MIDC-based units and stored at the godowns in New Delhi.

"We have already arrested three people who worked as couriers. Two more people have been apprehended and their interrogation was on," said the crime branch officer.

The officer said this was the biggest-ever drug recovery in Maharashtra by the Pune police and one of the largest seizures in the country.

"Investigations are going on a war footing. Upward and downward linkages are being probed and our teams are working in close coordination with other agencies," Mr. Kumar said earlier in the day.

Asked about antecedents of the arrested accused, the IPS officer said they were primarily acting as "courier boys" and had some offences registered against them.

Asked if drug racketeer Lalit Patil was in anyway related to the narcotics haul, he said as of now, no link has come to light.

Last year, Mr. Patil emerged as the kingpin of a drug racket that was busted by the police in Mumbai in a two-month-long operation, which included seizure of mephedrone worth about ₹300 crore and a raid at a drug manufacturing unit in Nashik. Patil had escaped from a government hospital in Pune, but was later arrested.

Mephedrone, also known as 'meow meow', is a synthetic stimulant and psychotropic substance banned under the NDPS Act.

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