NCB unearths 3 syndicates; 6 arrested with ecstasy pills

Several musicians, actors and artistes from the Kannada film industry are allegedly under the scanner after the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) cracked an international drug racket in a series of raids in and around Bengaluru. The accused reportedly supplied party drugs to clients. In total, the federal agency unearthed three syndicates, including the one that supplied drugs to musicians and actors in the State. Six people have been arrested with 4,317 MDMA pills, 180 LSD Blots and over ₹2.20 lakh in cash. Three of the accused were arrested in the city.

On August 21, the NCB’s Bengaluru zonal unit conducted a raid on an apartment in Kalyan Nagar where it seized 145 ecstasy or MDMA pills and over ₹2.20 lakh cash. According to sources, two people were arrested during this raid: M. Anoop and Ravindran from Kerala.

“In follow-up action, the team seized 96 pills of MDMA and 180 LSD blots at Nikoo Homes in Bengaluru,” Narcotics Control Bureau Deputy Director (operations) K.P.S Malhotra said in a statement issued here.

Acting on information from the arrested, NCB officials also raided an apartment in Doddaguddi on the outskirts of the city and arrested the third accused in the case, Anikha D, who is allegedly the main kingpin. “The lady drug supplier who had been the main kingpin of the case was intercepted and 270 pills of MDMA were recovered from her house at Doddagubbi, Bengaluru,” Mr. Malhotra said in the statement.

In total, three persons – M. Anoop, R. Ravindran and Anikha D. – were apprehended by the agency during these raids. “Preliminary investigation has revealed that the accused used to supply drugs to affluent sections of society, including prominent musicians and actors as well as to college students and youngsters,” Mr. Malhotra said, adding that more persons are likely to be apprehended.

Bitcoins as payment

Sources said they had been running the racket for many years. “Anikha sourced the drugs from abroad via an international courier service,” said a police official, adding that payments were made in bitcoins.

Another case was reported on August 10, when the agency’s Mumbai zone unit seized 3,010 of MDMA pills, sourced from Brussels. Subsequent action resulted in the seizure of 46 more tablets from the Navi Mumbai residence of a couple, who were arrested.

In the third case, the NCB’s Bengaluru unit on July 31 seized 750 MDMA pills, which were sourced from Germany. Further probe led to the arrest of one Rahman K., who was to allegedly receive the parcel. “Rahman had been selling MDMA and other party drugs, among students of his college and the neighbouring ones,” the NCB said. The investigation also revealed that the accused had placed the order of MDMA pills online in exchange for bitcoins.

MDMA (methylenedioxy- methamphetamine), commonly known as ecstasy, is a party drug that alters mood and its perception is chemically similar to stimulants and hallucinogens. It produces a feeling of increased energy and pleasure.

As per officials, each ecstasy pill costs between ₹1,500 and ₹2,500 in the domestic market. As per UNODC’s World Drug Report 2020, ecstasy continues to be manufactured primarily in Europe, most notably in Western and Central Europe. “Europe accounts for two-thirds of the ecstasy laboratories dismantled worldwide,” the NCB had earlier said.

The total quantity of ecstasy seized worldwide has doubled over the period 2009-2018 and this is also reflected in the rapidly increasing popularity of such synthetic drugs in India, it had said.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 4:36:35 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/ncb-unearths-3-syndicates-6-arrested-with-ecstasy-pills/article32459801.ece

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