By Raju Vernekar
Pune, Dec 8:
A post-graduate degree holder, who taught a group of criminals, the procedure of making mephedrone (MD) narcotic, was among the six men who were recently arrested by Pimpri-Chinchwad police.
The man was identified as Arvindkumar Prakashchand Lohare (39) (M.Sc with Organic chemistry), a resident of Oshiwara in North West Mumbai and a native of Muzaffarnagar in Uttar Pradesh. He has worked in pharmaceutical companies in the past. He was referred to as the “doctor” in drug peddlers’ circle.
“Lohare was the one who trained others how to make the drug. The teaching was done at three locations and 132kg MD was produced at a company in Ranjangaon MIDC in Pune. He took Rs 35 lakh for teaching the procedure. Lohare, has a previous case under NDPS registered against him in 2018 in Nashik. He was found with 12kg of produced MD in Igatpuri area of Nashik” Pimpri-Chinchwad police commissioner Krishna Prakash said.
The five others arrested were identified as Manoj Eknath Palande (40), a resident of Ganeshnagar Varse in Raigad district, Afzal Hussain Abbas Sunsara (52), a resident of Jogeshwari West in Mumbai (originally from Banaskatha, North Gujarat), Parshuram Bhalchandra Jogal (44), a resident of Wagle Estate in Thane and a native of Devgad in Sindhudurg, Mandar Baliram Bhosale (49), also a resident of Wagle Estate and Ram Manoharlal Gurbani (43), a resident of Mulund West in Mumbai. Of the six arrested, Jogal was arrested on 24 November from Thane, while Bhosale and Gurbani were arrested on 25 November. The case under Sections 8(c), 21(c), 22(c) and 29 of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1985 has been is registered against the accused.
Initially small quantities were produced during the two-day teaching session at three locations – Bhosale’s “Alkemi Industry” and Palande’s “Nimbus Pharma” at Mahad MIDC, Raigad and a farmhouse owned by advocate M. Joshi. During the earlier raids, two kingpins-Tushar Kale and Rakesh alias Rocky Khaniwadekar were arrested from these places.
How 132kg of MD was produced
A team of workers led by Kale and Rocky produced 132kg of MD at Ranjangaon MIDC, within 15 days before the lockdown and distributed it among people who sold it further. The workers had no idea what was being made in the factory.
Generally, 400 grams of pure substance can be extracted from 1kg of raw material. But Kale roped has stated to have roped in one Hrushikesh Mishra (25) “a gold medallist in chemistry from a university in Maharashtra”, who helped them extract 800 gm per kg of raw material. Mishra was already been arrested earlier. While Rocky and Kale produced the drug in batches, the three others provided space, raw material, distribution channels and logistical support. The accused were also planning to set up a factory to manufacture MD in Gujarat.
Case so far
Along with these six, the total number of arrests in the case have now reached 20. Among the 20 arrests, two men were found with cash that was collectively found to be worth Rs 85 lakh.
The case first landed on the Pimpri-Chinchwad police radar when a truck carrying 20kg MD was seized in Chakan by senior PI Sriram Pol’s team on 07 October 2020. This was the excess product that was kept under wraps by one of the players. They had first procured material to make 112kg of drugs. But their productivity increased and they produced extra 20kg.
Tushar Kale, suspected aide of underworld don Rajendra Nikalje aka Chhota Rajan, has at least five cases against him. Of the five cases, one case is of murder, another of extortion, one for preparation of dacoity, one of possession of arms, including 700 rounds of ammunition, and theft. Mandar Bhosale has a history of four previous cases and was booked under Maharashtsra Control of Organised Crime Act (Mcoca) by Thane police earlier.
Those who participated in the operation included: Anti Narcotics cell Chief Senior Police Inspector Sriram Pol, Sr PI Balkrishna Sawant, API (Crime branch) Ram Gomare, Prashant Mahale, Sagar Panmand, Ambrish Deshmukh, PSI Girish Chamle, Police Constables- Dattatray Bansude, Mayur Wadkar, Swaminath Jadhav and others.