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Mumbai yuppies take to Ketamine smuggling

Tuesday, 1 July 2014 - 6:15am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: dna

If it's Ketamine, even the rich and the famous are game.

And that's one bad game celebrity gym trainer Alishan Sharma and Kamud Drugs managing director Abhijeet Konduskar played in their life.

In the last three years, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has cracked 16 narcotics cases and all of them involved the young, educated and the rich.

"It's greed for big money that's luring even decent people into the business. We have been noticing
this trend for a few years now," a senior DRI officer said.

One kilogram of Ketamine fetches Rs 10 lakh, and when tonnes are involved, it can be a multibagger.

In December 2013, when Powai resident Vikas Puri was arrested, the DRI seized 1.2 tonnes of Ketamine, worth over Rs118 crore in the international market.

Puri was no mean drug peddler either. A gold medalist from the premier UDCT institute of chemical technology, he used his educational background to illegally manufacture the drug in Jalgaon. DRI also arrested 13 others with Puri.

Celebrity nutritionist-cum-gym-trainer Alishan Sharma was arrested from his Malad residence in February this year with 40 kg of Ketamine and Rs 80 lakh in cash. He used to export the banned substance to London.

Sharma's arrest gave one crucial lead to the agencies. Unregulated courier agencies, the agencies discovered, were the fulcrum of the business. There are 200 registered courier companies with the customs department. The licences of 12 of them were suspended last year.

In fact, it was the arrest of a courier boy that led the police to Sharma's doorstep. Investigators found that Sharma was getting buying the stuff from Shanghai. "We have arrested three people in the case so far and are looking forward to more arrests, " an officer said.

Konduskar was arrested along with Sujal Patel, owner of Anshanu Exports, and his manager Babu Sharma. Konduskar, who hails from the family of Konduskar travels, was arrested in January 2012 with more than 1,000 kg of the party drug.


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