Drug peddlers in Mumbai know their job pretty well. Even though most of their peddling methods are classified and low-key, today they have gone a step further to ensure that they are not caught.
According to the police, a popular modus operandi for the peddlers is to go around the city selling narcotic substances with an orchestrated family to avoid suspicion.
Joint commissioner of police (crime) Himanshu Roy said, “The peddlers move around the city as a family. They use women and children as carriers and hide the drugs with them. It usually happens around nakabandis and catch points, where police patrolling is high. If a man is accompanied by a woman or a child, the cops are less suspicious.”
According to the officers from the Anti Narcotics Cell (ANC), mostly cheap drugs in large quantities are peddled in this manner. Senior inspector of ANC’s Worli unit Rajendra Sangle said, “More than the high-end drugs, it is drugs such as ganja, charas and brown sugar that are peddled in this manner. Mostly, they travel on bikes or taxis, accompanied by a woman and a child, as a family, leaving us no room for suspicion.”
The drugs are kept inside the woman’s clothes, wallet or the child’s toys, nappies or shoes. Kids are usually aged between one and five. “Sometimes, the peddlers roam around with burkha-clad women and the drugs are safely hidden inside their clothes.
Unless there are women officers, we usually do not frisk them. These women and children get a nominal amount to be a part of this act. While we haven’t caught them in the act, interrogations have revealed that this is a very common method.”
According to ANC sources, more than 60% of selling happens in this manner. “While the cost of brown sugar per kg is Rs10 lakh, ganja costs about Rs7,000 per kg and charas about Rs1 lakh per kg. These are ordered in bulk. High-end drugs are costlier and ordered in milligrams and, therefore, are easier to hide. For the low-end drugs, the consumers are usually people from lower and middle classes, including students,” said an officer.