Bengaluru

Seizure of ₹1.25 crore of narcotics turns spotlight on DJs

This is the first time a nexus of pubs, DJs and narcotics has been exposed in the city.   | Photo Credit: Handout E Mail

The police have busted an organised narcotics ring where Disc Jockeys (DJs) at two prominent pubs in the Central Business District allegedly procured drugs through the Dark Web and peddled them not only in the city but in other metros of the country as well. The kingpin of the racket, Dhiraj, is in his mid-30s. He is from Kerala and works as a DJ in Bengaluru. He is absconding, but four of his associates were caught, said the police.

This is the first time a nexus of pubs, DJs and narcotics has been exposed in the city.

Addressing mediapersons, Home Minister Basavaraj Bommai said, “Our government not only has zero tolerance to narcotics, but it is our priority to free the city of the menace. We will pursue it pro-actively. Unlike in previous governments, there will be no interference.” He announced a ₹1 lakh cash reward to be split among the five police personnel who uncovered the racket.

The Anti Narcotics Wing (ANW) of the Central Crime Branch (CCB) tracked down members of the ring over two weeks before searching a house in Chikkabanavara. They arrested four men and seized ₹1.25 crore worth of narcotics, including 2,000 LSD strips, 110 grams of MDMA crystals, 10 Ecstasy tablets and five kilograms of ganja.

The arrested persons are Shahad Mohammed, 24, Azmal K., 22, Nitin Mohan, 29, and Ajin Varghese, 21, all hailing from Kerala. Interrogation revealed that Dhiraj was allegedly the kingpin. A fellow DJ was his associate.

Consignments picked up from post offices

Dhiraj allegedly procured the narcotics from abroad through the Dark Net.

“They had devised a modus operandi where the parcel with a contact number was delivered to a post office. When the postmen called them, Dhiraj’s agents would pick up the parcels. We have recovered envelopes from the Netherlands and Germany from the house. The role of the postmen will also be looked into,” a senior officer said.

“Only ganja was probably procured locally. Dhiraj was not only the main procurer, but also its main distributor,” a source said.

The drugs were sold to customers at prominent pubs in Bengaluru, Goa and Mumbai. “The DJs seem to have been the main peddlers. The cost of the drug went up as the party progressed,” said a senior official.

The police suspect that once Dhiraj and his associate are arrested, it will lead them to other DJs actively peddling drugs.

“The ring is also known to have supplied drugs to certain parties at farm houses in the city and in Goa,” the officer added.

“Dhiraj used to take money through online payment gateways from students and other customers,” said a police official, adding that the four arrested men were sub-peddlers who delivered the drugs to customers.

“We have enough leads on Dhiraj. We will nab him soon,” said Sandeep Patil, Joint Commissioner (Crime).

Pubs in the dock

The police suspect that pubs, DJs and narcotics in the city were part of a supply chain that was long talked about in whispers. The case is expected to bring pubs under scrutiny.

“There were often complaints of drugs being consumed and sold in pubs, but there were no specific cases. We now have solid evidence of DJs at these pubs running an organised narcotics ring. We will conduct a special drive to check the menace of drugs in the city’s pubs,” said Sandeep Patil, Joint Commissioner (Crime), Bengaluru.

Once the pubs reopen, police will carry out a special drive and increase surveillance, including background checks on their employees.

In the present case, the owners and management of the two pubs, where the kingpins of the racket worked, will be questioned by the CCB in the coming days.

“How could drugs be sold freely on their premises by DJs working there without it coming to their notice? We will investigate to see if they were involved,” a senior official said.

However, police refused to disclose the names of the two pubs, as no case was registered against them yet, only describing them as “prominent pubs in the Central Business District”.


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Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 2:27:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/seizure-of-125-crore-of-narcotics-turns-spotlight-on-djs/article32224878.ece

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