Just a few days before New Year’s Eve, city crime branch sleuths have busted a drug syndicate and, on Saturday, arrested three people with a huge cache of contraband. The police have seized 13 kg of ketamine worth Rs45.50 lakh from the accused.
The drug was being smuggled from Nalasopara and is suspected to have been circulated in the city for the occasion of New Year, police sources said.
The arrested trio has been identified as Ramshiromani Pandey, 51, Santoshkumar Singh, 31, and Vidyaprasad Tiwari, 41, all residents of Nalasopara in Thane rural and natives of Uttar Pradesh.
The trio has been booked under relevant sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.
According to the police sources, officers of unit 10 of crime branch had specific information that three people would be smuggling ketamine from Nalasopara to Saki Naka Junction on the Asalfa-Ghatkopar Road in Mumbai on Saturday between 2pm and 3pm. The Bandra unit of the Anti-Narcotics Cell (ANC) was roped in the operation then.
Subsequently, a trap was laid at the said place and the trio was apprehended. “While seven kilogrammes of ketamine was found on Pandey, four kilogrammes and two kilogrammes, respectively, were found on Singh and Tiwari. The three have been reluctant to reveal from where they sourced such a huge quantity of contraband. We suspect them to be part of a drug cartel and it cannot be denied that the drug was meant for New Year parties in the city,” said an ANC officer, requesting anonymity.