Peddling of drugs at rave party the tip of the iceberg?

‘Dry ganja is being exchanged for psychedelic substances in Goa and Bengaluru’

April 17, 2019 12:53 am | Updated 12:53 am IST - Visakhapatnam

Disturbing trend:  Drugs are being supplied surreptitiously to hotels and farmhouses during rave parties in Visakhapatnam, say police.

Disturbing trend: Drugs are being supplied surreptitiously to hotels and farmhouses during rave parties in Visakhapatnam, say police.

The arrest of a youth for peddling drugs at rave party organised at a private beach restaurant by City Task Force (CTF) team and Arilova Police on Saturday night has kept to the police on their toes.

Though it is claimed to be the first such incident to be reported from the city, police suspect that there could be a darker side of drug peddling and its distribution network.

On Saturday night, a small quantity of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and MMDA, both psychedelic drugs were seized from the accused who allegedly procured the stock from Goa.

“The investigation is on and we are are probing the case from different angles. It could be the tip of the iceberg and investigation could lead to the illicit trade thriving in the underbelly of the city,” CTF ACP Mahendra Mathe says.

The seizure of LSD in Hyderabad last year exposed different facades of drug trade which had the clientèle from school students to celebrities. According to a senior police officer, it is established that the drugs are being smuggled from other places such as Goa and Bengaluru and supplied to addicts, usually the affluent few, at private rave parties.

‘Well-oiled supply chain’

Police believe that such parties are being held surreptitiously in hotels and farmhouses. “Such nexus is deep-rooted and well-oiled, spreading from the tranquil agency areas to the beaches in Goa. The basic trade hinges on smuggling of dry ganja,” police sources say, adding that young addicts including college students and dropouts are the major cogs of the supply chain.

Trade math

Ganja, especially the Sheelavathi variety, is being smuggled in packets to Goa and it is exchanged for drugs such as LSD and MMDA. “Procured at ₹2,000 a kg from the Visakhapatnam Agency, dry ganja fetches up to ₹15,000 per kg in Goa and Bengaluru. This is exchanged for LSD blots or MMDA powder,” a police officer says.

It is learnt that one LSD blot costs somewhere between ₹300 to ₹500 in Goa, but sells for ₹1,800 to ₹2,000 in Vizag. Going by the economics, 2 kg of ganja, which is purchased at ₹4,000 in Visakhapatnam Agency and sold for around ₹30,000 in Goa can be exchanged for 60 to 100 blots which can fetch ₹1.2 lakh to ₹2 lakh in Vizag. “A big money can be earned in a shot time with an investment of ₹4,000,” an officer from Arilova police station explains.

Difficult to detect

“Moreover, smuggling LSD is easy as it can be transported as bookmarks and can’t be detected by scanners. It is like a smudge on blotting paper,” the CTF ACP adds.

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