Pune: A notorious drug peddlar, wanted since 2007, was found by the city police’s anti-narcotic cell on Tuesday at a village in Ahmednagar village, 150 kilometres away from Pune.
Ali Sher Lal Mohammad Saudagar (45), who operates a drug-peddling syndicate in Patil Estate in Wakdewadi, has been finally nabbed. He has the distinction of being the main supplier of brown sugar, charas, ganja and other contrabands. Several cases of smuggling contraband and other cases have been registered against Saudagar at Khadaki, Shivajinagar, Yerawada and Vishrantwadi police stations in the city.
Saudagar was wanted by city police since 2007, but his whereabouts had been untraceable. Finally, in February 2013 the police traced him, but he gave them the slip.
Assistant police inspector Vinod Patil, who received a tip-off in his recent arrest said, “For the past one year, I was working on arresting him. Past attempts to trace him failed, as he was being alerted of our arrival. We finally traced him to a village in Ahmednagar where he was living with his 19-year-old wife and 21-year-old son in the garb of Sultan Suleman Shaikh and was into the cattle business. To avoid being arrested, he changed his appearance.”
Additional commissioner of police (crime) Shahaji Solunke said, “Saudagar’s arrest is huge, as he was heavily into the inter-state drugs business. Saudagar had cultivated the habit of casual drug usage in many users by first giving them sachets for free. Once they were hooked, Saudagar would demand cash or encourage them to steal bicycles in exchange for brown sugar. He then instigated them to steal bicycles from crowded areas like Shivajinagar and Pune railway station. On a tip-off, we raided Saudagar’s shed where he had stacked over 300 bicycles near Patil Estate. We were shocked to find numerous cycles lying inside in a dismantled condition. More than 500 cycle tyres and tubes, car tyres and tubes, and other metal parts were inside the shed.”
Deputy commissioner of police Rajesh Bansode said, “Saudagar used to deal in metal scrap. Other parts like tyres, tubes, seats and miscellaneous accessories could be resold as second-hand goods. In the past we arrested some 15 people working under Saudagar and his name came up in 2007. We circulated pictures of him but he always gave us the slip by changing his location.”