NCB arrests 4, seizes several drugs for sale through darknet

New Delhi, Apr 12 (IANS): The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) on Monday said that it has arrested four people and seized 30.5 lakh doses of psychotropic drugs, 70,000 codeine based cough syrups (CBCS) and 14.895 kg amphetamine drug.

The drug law enforcement agency Deputy Director (Operations) KPS Malhotra said, "The NCB launched a special drive against psychotropic drugs trafficking and the operation which is currently underway has led to a seizure of 30.5 lakhs of psychotropic drugs, 70,000 codeine based cough syrups (CBCS) and 14.895 kg amphetamine drug and arrest of four persons."

Malhotra said that raids were conducted in various parts of Delhi, NCR, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

He said that this module has a modus operandi of getting the orders through the darknet market host and the same are delivered through the dedicated shippers to create anonymity between the receiver of the order and logistic persons.

"Working on the specific input that a trafficking network is involved in exportation of psychotropic drugs from India to various parts of world, a few consignments were seized and the same were backtracked," he said.

The NCB officer said during investigation, it was discovered that the shippers are primarily based in Delhi NCR and are using fake identities.

"Based on the backtrack investigation, one of the shippers K. Aggarwal, a resident of Agra, was identified and was arrested. He disclosed that he gets his drugs from one of the suppliers in Agra. Based on his interrogation and technical evidence, A. Goyal was arrested from Agra. The arrest of Goyal led to a startling fact that they are getting the psychotropic drugs from a Haridwar based pharmaceutical company, which is involved in legal production and in that garb, is diverting these psychotropic drugs to these traffickers," he said.

Malhotra added that a raid was conducted at Haridwar at the premises of the pharmaceutical company and its distribution centre based in Agra. A total of 34 seizures were affected from this syndicate leading to a cumulative figure of 30.5 lakh of psychotropic drugs, 70,000 codeine based cough syrups and 14.895 kg amphetamine, he said.

Malhotra said that besides Aggarwal and Goyal, the NCB also arrested Som Dutt, a resident of Narela in Delhi and Manish a resident of Uttar Pradesh's Ballia.

The NCB officer said that Aggarwal is a graduate and is engaged in the illicit trade for the last two-three years, while Goyal is a school dropout and used to run a medicine shop while Dutt is pursuing his B.A through distance learning and started providing logistics to the syndicate about two years back.

Citing the role of Manish, the officer said he has completed his graduation and used to run a grocery shop. To earn quick money, he started trafficking psychotropic drugs, the officer said.

He also said that earlier in an operation, the NCB seized a significant number of psychotropic drugs i.e. 56 lakh psychotropic medicines from Ghaziabad.

"In this regard, four accused persons were arrested. The mastermind H. Singh had taken the distribution license in the name of M. Yadav, who was paid a monthly remuneration," Malhotra said.

The operations were looked after by H. Singh. They were involved in diversion of the psychotropic drugs from the legal distribution channel towards the illicit channel. The destinations of the psychotropic drugs were Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

Malhotra said that the syndicate is inter-connected to various other syndicates also.

He said that last year in the darknet vendor case, one Mausam aka Kashmir was arrested, who revealed about his other associates.

"The gang members were using darknet to maintain their anonymity. Dutt who has been arrested was earlier associated with Mausam."

Malhotra said that Dutt is one of the prominent shippers of the syndicates and used the Indian Postal Services for sending the consignments to the USA and the UK, using fraudulently obtained IDs.

"Dutt used to procure psychotropic medicines from one Manish, whose consignments were earlier seized," he added.

Malhotra said that a psychotropic drug like Tramadol comes under the category of synthetic opioids and is used in the treatment of moderate to severe pain.



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