Cocaine is the most desired drug of the rich and the powerful.
The police reiterated this after Anant Vardhan Pathak, the 31-year-old top executive of the Yash Birla Group, was arrested for alleged possession and consumption of cocaine. “Cheaper drugs like charas and ganja are preferred by lower-middle class people and students. However, cocaine is an expensive drug and we sell it in high-profile corporate parties, house parties of the wealthy and also among celebrities and other powerful people,” said a city-based peddler.
“Usually, the crowd comes through a trusted network and the selling process is clandestine.
Sometimes, we don’t even know who we are selling it to, as we have strict orders from above to just go to the spot and hand over the drug and take the money,” he added.
It is also difficult for the law enforcement agencies to nab consumers as cocaine is sold in very small quantities (in grams) and can be carried around in bags, wallets, pocket or socks.
Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police (crime), said: “Cocaine is more about class and power. Mostly Nigerian peddlers deal with cocaine. Since powerful people are involved, it is hard to nab consumers unless we have specific information. For the powerful corporates, cocaine is a status symbol and stress-buster.”
A gram of cocaine costs anywhere between Rs5,000 and Rs10,000. “The racket is very hard to crack as most of the deals happen over phone and the network is very secretive. In a matter of seconds, the drug is handed over in busy roads or even in homes. It is also couriered,” said an officer from Anti Narcotics Control.
It is difficult to spot the substance as it is odourless. Cocaine, produced from the leaves of coca plant, is mostly produced in Mexico, Bolivia and Colombia. “Cocaine is usually snorted or injected.
It is also mixed in paan and ghutka. While we have caught many peddlers, the consumers are high-profile and very difficult to nab,” said an official of Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB).