Mumbai Crime: NCB seizes drugs worth Rs 1 crore in 3 operations

The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) in Mumbai in a series of operations disrupted international and interstate drug trafficking networks, resulting in the seizure of substantial quantities of contraband and the arrest of key individuals, one of them being an employee of Bhivandi-Nizampur Municipal Corporation. The NCB claimed that the operations dealt a significant blow to drug trafficking syndicates with connections both within India and abroad. The total value of the drugs seized in the three operations is around Rs 1 crore.

The first operation involves the interception of alprazolam bound for the United States (US). The NCB in Mumbai received credible intelligence regarding a network engaged in the illicit export of pharma-based drugs, specifically alprazolam, from India to the US for recreational purposes. Utilising digital surveillance and other methods, investigators identified a Lucknow-based network that had recently completed an illegal drug deal with entities in the US and was preparing for another shipment. 

The NCB intercepted a shipment at a courier facility in Mumbai. Disguised as branded tea leaves, the package concealed 15,000 alprazolam tablets, totalling 1.840 kg. A Lucknow-based individual associated with the network, Samar S, was arrested. The investigation uncovered the syndicate’s involvement in previous drug trafficking activities, with members relying on “no-digital contact” methods to evade authorities. The probe is going on to apprehend additional key members and understand the syndicate’s operation in depth.

The second operation involved intercepting illicitly diverted cough syrup. In this case the Mumbai NCB received information about an interstate syndicate involved in the procurement and distribution of illicitly diverted cough syrup in Mumbai and nearby areas. Ravish N A is a key figure based in Bhiwandi, Thane. It was discovered that a Gujarat-based supplier was providing a bulk consignment to this network. 

The NCB laid a trap on September 28, intercepting Ravish N A and his carrier, Akash G, as they attempted to receive a shipment containing 8,497 bottles of CBCS (codeine-based cough syrup), weighing 849.7 kg. The investigation found that Ravish N A was attempting to re-establish the drug trafficking circuit, which had been disrupted by a previous operation by the NCB. Ravish is a working employee of Bhivandi-Nizampur Municipal Corporation, the NCB said in a statement. 

The third operation intercepted illicit cough syrup distribution. The Mumbai NCB received information about a Mumbai-based network procuring illicitly diverted cough syrup from an interstate syndicate, with the intention of distributing it in Mumbai and its surrounding areas. The probe led to the identification of a Gujarat-based supplier, who was collaborating with a Mumbai-based individual. The receiver’s identity was also established, and a consignment was traced to a transporter company in Dongri. 

On October 3, the Mumbai NCB team intercepted the receiver, Riyaz B, as he attempted to collect the shipment. The cartons contained 1,199 CBCS bottles, weighing 119.9 kg. Riyaz B, with a history of involvement in the drug trade for several years, was associated with Mumbai-based kingpins and other drug peddlers previously arrested by the NCB. “The Mumbai NCB has demonstrated its commitment to eradicating drug trafficking within society, dismantling multiple networks with international and interstate connections,” said Amit Ghawate, NCB zonal director, Mumbai.

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