Mumbai: The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) has seized 60 kg mephedrone drug worth more than Rs 120 crore from Mumbai and Gujarat, and arrested six members of an inter-state drug cartel, including a former Air India pilot, a senior official said here on Friday.
The action was taken based on specific inputs received by the Naval Intelligence unit at Jamnagar in Gujarat, said Sanjay Singh, Deputy Director General of the NCB in a press briefing here.
“We have cracked a drug network spread across various states of the country and arrested six persons involved in the syndicate,” he said.
Following the tip-off, the officials from the NCB headquarters in Delhi and its Mumbai zonal unit conducted a raid at Jamnagar on Monday and seized 10 kg mephedrone, he said.
The NCB team arrested one person from Jamnagar and three others from Mumbai in this connection, Singh added.
“On Thursday, the NCB team raided a godown located on S B Road in Fort area of south Mumbai, from where it seized 50 kg mephedrone and arrested two more accused, including the kingpin in the case,” he said, adding that more people are likely to be held.
The accused former pilot had started his career as a lower-rank employee and later passed a pilot course exam, he said.
Between 2016 and 2018, he had worked in the airline, Singh said, adding that he had completed his pilot training from San Antonio, Texas in the USA and Lithuania.
“The pilot had left his job due to some medical reasons and since then he had been involved in the drug cartel,” he said.
One of the accused held from Mumbai is a history-sheeter. He was arrested by the Directorate of Revenue intelligence (DRI) in 2001 in a 350 kg mandrax drug trafficking case and has been out on bail since 2008, the official added.
“During the probe, we found that all the members of the cartel are experienced in drug trafficking and they have so far distributed at least 225 kg mephedrone in various states,” he said.
The mephedrone seized in this operation was manufactured at a lab near Mumbai, which was already busted by the Mumbai police’s Anti-Narcotics Cell (ANC), the official said.
“We have information about other similar networks and our probe is in progress,” he said, adding that it also came to light that the accused arrested in the case had links in the recent seizure of mephedrone by the ANC.
“It has come to light that the seized 60 kg MD is part of a consignment and has linkages with the seizure of the drug made recently by the Mumbai police,” he said.
Mephedrone, also known as ‘meow meow’ or MD, is a synthetic stimulant and psychotropic substance banned under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.