Bengaluru

Narcotics worth ₹4.4 crore seized in four cases

In a special drive against narcotics peddling in east Bengaluru conducted over the last few days, the police busted four drug rings and arrested 10 persons, including eight foreigners. They seized narcotics worth ₹4.4 crore, including over three kg of MDMA, 200 gram of cocaine, a huge cache of ecstasy pills and 2.5 kg of ganja.

Acting on a tip-off, the K.G. Halli police arrested two foreigners – Ugochukwua Harrison and John Nonso – who were allegedly peddling synthetic drugs, mostly to college students, and seized 350 gram of MDMA crystals, 4 gram of cocaine and 82 gram of ecstasy pills as well as seven mobile phones on February 26.

“Technical investigation of their mobile phones revealed that they were constantly in touch with Usman Mohammed and Lokondo Londja Emmanuel, who also hail from African countries,” said sources.

While Mohammed managed to evade the police, Emmanuel was arrested while allegedly peddling drugs at Nagawara. A raid on their house led to the seizure of 200 gram of cocaine, 2,710 gram of MDMA crystals, 576 LSD strips and 1,939 ecstasy pills worth about ₹3.5 crore. The police also recovered ₹2.75 lakh in cash.

“This is a major drug bust, not only in terms of a large cache of narcotics, but also because the duo seem to be key suppliers of narcotics to many peddlers in the city,” a senior officer said.

The interrogation of the three Africans revealed the identities of several sub-dealers and a huge clientele.

Based on this information, officials raided the houses of Mastan Chandra, an upcoming actor and a former Bigg Boss contestant, and his friend Keshava.

“Mastan Chandra was constantly in touch with Ugochukwua Harrison, and regularly procured large quantities of narcotics from him,” said a police official. He is suspected to have been peddling drugs to those habituated to narcotics in the Kannada film and television industry, along with Keshava.

In another case, sleuths from the anti-narcotic wing of the Central Crime Branch apprehended a drug peddler Yugo Chukwa, an African national, and recovered over 500 gram of MDMA worth ₹40 lakh. He has been a peddler since 2018, procuring narcotics from Mumbai, and is named in a case registered in Koramangala Police Station.

In another case, Ramamurthy Nagar police busted a drug ring and arrested five persons, including four Africans. They recovered 9 gram of MDMA and a kg of ganja worth ₹1 lakh. In another case, Banaswadi police arrested a peddler and recovered 1.5 kg of ganja.

‘Action against house owners’

All the eight foreign nationals who were arrested for allegedly peddling narcotics did not have the required paperwork, and were overstaying in the city. “Their visas – business, tourism and student – had expired,” said a police official.

While the police booked all eight for visa violations, they also came down heavily on their landlords. The East zone police have booked the landlords under the Foreigners Act, 1946, for not verifying the passports and visas of their tenants. “They will also be booked for harbouring and abetment after investigations,” the police statement said.

The senior police official added that landlords are bound by law to check the passports and visas before renting out their premises to foreigners. “Most of the foreign nationals we arrest in connection with narcotics cases don’t have their papers in order. Penalising the landlord is one way to fish them out,” the officer said.

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Printable version | Apr 22, 2021 7:36:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/narcotics-worth-44-crore-seized-in-four-cases/article33999142.ece

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