Chemistry PG among 5 held for Rs 1,400 crore drug haul

The Anti-Narcotics Cell (ANC) of the Mumbai crime branch conducted the raid at the unit located in Nalasopara (west) on Wednesday and recovered the contraband, also known as MD.
700 kilograms of mephedrone worth Rs 1,400 crore seized on Thursday
700 kilograms of mephedrone worth Rs 1,400 crore seized on ThursdayANI

MUMBAI: In what seems to be a case inspired by the superhit crime drama Breaking Bad, a 52-year-old postgraduate in organic chemistry and four others were arrested by the Mumbai police over the seizure of more than 700 kilograms of mephedrone worth Rs 1,400 crore, the largest recovery of the synthetic stimulant drug in Maharashtra in the last one year, after a raid at a drug manufacturing unit at Nalasopara in Palghar district, officials said on Thursday.

The Anti-Narcotics Cell (ANC) of the Mumbai crime branch conducted the raid at the unit located in Nalasopara (west) on Wednesday and recovered the contraband, also known as MD, that was meant to be supplied to drug peddlers in Mumbai and its neighbouring areas, an official said. The main accused in the case is a post-graduate in organic chemistry, who got the formula of producing mephedrone through experiments, he said, adding that one of the other four arrested accused is a woman.

“The raid was carried out based on specific inputs, which the ANC’s Worli team had received after the arrest of a drug peddler from Govandi, a suburb in Mumbai, in March this year. Mephedrone weighing 250 grams had been recovered from him at that time,” he said. During his interrogation, the ANC officials learnt more people were involved in the illegal activity, following which they arrested the woman and one more person, and seized 2.760 kg of mephedrone.

Continuing its probe into the supply chain, Mumbai police on Tuesday arrested one more accused and nabbed the main accused a day later following the raid at his Nalasopara unit. “The ANC team recovered 701.740 kg mephedrone valued at Rs 1,403 crore from the accused,” said Datta Nalawade, Deputy Commissioner of Police (ANC), in a press conference.

During the probe, it came to light that the main accused himself was manufacturing the banned drug, he said. “The main accused is a 52-year-old man, who holds a post-graduate degree in organic chemistry. After experimenting with various chemicals, he found out the formula of producing mephedrone,” he said, adding that he was producing “high quality” substance.

Q

WHAT IS MEPHEDRONE

A

Mephedrone, also known as 4-methylmethcathinone, 4-MMC, and 4-methylephedrone, is a synthetic stimulant drug of the amphetamine and cathinone classes. Slang names include drone,M-CAT, White Magic , meow meow and yurrpt. It is chemically similar to the cathinone compounds found in the khat plant of eastern Africa.It comes in the form of tablets or crystals,which users can swallow, snort or inject, producing effects similar to those of MDMA, amphetamines and cocaine.

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