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Hyderabad drug bust: Telangana Excise officials nab South African national with cocaine

HYDERABAD: A Special Task Force of the Telangana Excise and Prohibition Department took a South African national into custody on Tuesday, from the Rajiv Gandhi international Airport in Hyderabad, for allegedly carrying cocaine.

“The South African, identified as Alex Victor, aged about 40, was taken into custody with cocaine (commercial quantity), after he came out of the airport after landing from Mumbai,” PTI quoted a senior Excise official as saying.

The Times of India reported that Alex Victor started his journey from South Africa and had landed at Mumbai international airport on Tuesday, before boarding a domestic flight to Hyderabad.

The TOI report adds that ‘Commercial quantity’ meant that the offender would be treated as a peddler, and excise sleuths would question him on how he procured the drugs, and his customers in Hyderabad.

This comes in the backdrop of a sensational racket busted by authorities, who found that about 1,000 students of leading private schools and colleges in the city were using high-end drugs such as LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) and MDMA (methylenedioxy-methamphetamine).

The racket also exposed the dark underbelly of Tollywood, as the dealers were also supplying drugs to several personalities from the Telugu industry.

Alex Victor’s arrest was announced hours after Telugu film actor Ananda Krishna alias Nandu appeared before the Special Investigation Team (SIT) of Telangana’s Excise Department.

Nandu was the 12th artist to be interrogated by the SIT, which has so far questioned top actors like Ravi Teja, Charmme Kaur and leading director Puri Jagannadh.

With the questioning of Nandu, the SIT has completed interrogation of the Tollywood personalities summoned in the case.

Their names cropped up when the SIT found their contact details in the call data of Calvin Mascrenhas, the kingpin of the recently busted drug racket.

The SIT has so far arrested 20 persons, including US citizen Dundu Anish, a former aerospace engineer who has worked with the NASA, a Dutch national Mike Kamminga, and seven B. Tech degree holders, most of them employed with multi-national companies.

The SIT is expected to hold a crucial meeting soon, to decide the future course of action.

“We haven’t decided to file a chargesheet yet. We will issue notices in the future, based on legal evidence recovered from the investigation so far. We will only arrest Tollywood actors who have already been questioned if we find legal evidence against them. It will take some time to go through the findings,” an official told Deccan Chronicle.

IANS inputs