HYDERABAD: The drug mafia has strengthened its hold on Hyderabad, which is fast turning into a popular hub of development and real estate, with the influx of people from all parts of the country, the police said.
While gangs of Nigerians have been arrested in the past for trading cocaine, heroin and other synthetic drugs, the police said that bulk drug peddlers from Rajasthan are currently ruling the roost.
Even as the three police commissionerates have boosted vigil on highways and expanded their check posts, the drugs continue to reach the local peddlers in the city, the police said.
Rachakonda police commissioner Mahesh Bhagwat said, “Apart from Nigerian gangs, Rajasthani gangs are emerging (as the biggest threat) in the smuggling of heroin and cocaine. To detect their source of synthetic drug procurement, we have coordinated with the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and other Central government agencies dealing with drugs and they have also trained our special teams. The DRI and other central agencies will be tracking drug supply.”
Police sources said that the smugglers generally use transport services, with most having tie-ups with truckers who are versed in evading police checks. The transporters collect the bulk parcels at designated points on the city outskirts and deliver them to select persons.
Meanwhile, central drug investigation agencies said that heroin and cocaine consignments worth over Rs 4,000 crore were seized by the Gujarat ATS in the past six months.
A retired official with the DRI, however, said that consignments managed to reach Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
Sources in the city said that the demand for drugs has spiked due to an influx of people from other parts of the country and foreign countries in the city.
“Wherever there is money, especially drugs, tycoons from the underworld are involved as it’s a big game. Nigerians are easily identified, so the drug mafia has engaged unemployed youth from poverty ridden areas and are using them as peddlers,” the retired DRI official said.
The official cited a 1992 case wherein drugs worth Rs 1,600 crore were seized from the residence of a city resident, Devrak Murjhani, in Jubilee Hills. In the case, three aides of Dawood Ibrahim, including his brother Aniz Ibrahim, Abdullah of Kerala, Murjhani, his son and four others were detained for 10 years.
The central agencies suspect that cocaine and heroin not only reached major cities in the state, but also permeated to the interior districts of Telangana.
“Still, the peddlers despite having huge stocks are not able to meet the demand for the consumers in Hyderabad and outskirts as the police network and awareness is excellent,” a police source said.
Drug seized this year
Ganja – 7502.837 kilograms
Hash oil – 83.89 litres
Pseudoephedrine – 8.5 kilograms
Methamphetamine – 650 loggers
Polly straw – 500 grams
Opium oil – 12 litres
Opium powder – 750 grams
Ketamine powder – 7 grams
Heroin – 73 grams
Brown sugar – 0.3 grams
MDMA – 63.05 grams
Cocaine – 38 grams
Bung powder – 250 grams
Hydrochloride – 50 litres
94 persons booked under the PD Act this year
The police have seized drugs in a number of cases this year
Jan. 7: Cocaine and heroin seized in Shalibanda from two Rajasthani smugglers
Feb. 7: Opium worth Rs 12.15 lakh seized near VT Kaman Rachakonda from two Rajasthani smugglers
Feb. 8: Heroin worth Rs 95 lakh seized from two peddlers at Uppal Bus Stand
Feb. 18: Two Rajasthani peddlers held in Boduppal with opium worth Rs 1 crore
April 17: Two Rajasthani drug peddlers arrested in Choutuppal, from a truck containing 700 kilograms of ganja worth Rs 1.15 crore
Dec. 1: Two Rajasthani smugglers arrested by Rachakonda police in RK Puram with 500 grams of poppy straw, worth Rs 1.5 lakh
Dec. 20: Five Rajasthani peddlers arrested with 40 grams of heroin, worth Rs 35 lakh, in LB Nagar