By Raju Vernekar
Pune, Oct 22:
The crime branch officials of the Pimpri-Chinchwad police arrested a few more persons including a Nigerian national and a Chhota Rajan aide, in connection with the Rs 20 crore mephedrone (MD) racket on Wednesday.
The accused are : Tushar Suryakant Kale (Borivali,Mumbai) (Chhota Rajan aide), Rakesh Shrikant Khanivdekar(Vasai, near Mumbai), Jubu Ukodo, Nigerian, Vasai (near Mumbai), Anandgir Madhugir Gosavi (25), Chetan Fakkad Dandavate (28), Sanjiv Kumar Bansi Raut (44)(originally from Jharkhand), Akshay Shivaji Kale (25), Tausif Hasan Mohammad Taslim (31), Kiran Rajguru, Ashok Sankpal and Kiran Kale…from Pune.
The accused used to manufacture drugs at a defunct factory in Ranjangaon MIDC in Pune and sell them at high prices in various markets in Pune and Mumbai. The racket was busted earlier this month and MD worth Rs 20 crore was seized. The other material worth Rs 90 lakh was confiscated and property worth Rs 75 lakh was attached on Wednesday.
Pimpri-Chinwad Police Commissioner Krishna Prakash said that the arrested persons had planned to start the second drug manufacturing factory in Palghar district of Thane and had bought two-acre land from the proceeds, earned by selling the banned 112kg MD. “Earlier, we had arrested five persons with 20 kg MD on October 7. After that we formed six teams to further investigate the case. The teams were deployed at Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Vasai, Nasik and Palghar and the racket was unearthed,” he added.
During the course of the investigation, it was revealed that the accused had conspired to manufacture MD at a defunct factory, Sanyog Biotech Pvt Ltd, at Ranjangaon. They had manufactured 132kg of MD in December 2019 of which they sold 112kg. The kingpin behind the drugs racket was identified as Tushar Suryakant Kale, a resident of Borivali (Mumbai).He is linked to the Chhota Rajan gang. Another accused is a notorious criminal Rakesh Shrikant Khanivdekar alias Rocky of Vasai. It is a major breakthrough and such crackdowns will continue to break the back of the criminal syndicates operating in the region, Prakash said.
The arrested accused include a Nigerian national identified as Jubu Ukodo, a resident of Vasai (near Mumbai), who has been charged with selling the 112kg of MD. He had earlier served 10 years’ imprisonment in Kolhapur jail in a drugs case. He has also been accused of tampering with a visa document and a separate case will be filed against him, Prakash said.
On October 7, the racket was busted after senior police inspector Shriram Pol received a tip off regarding the operations of the syndicate. Following the input, the police team nabbed Anandgir Madhugir Gosavi (25), Chetan Fakkad Dandavate (28), Sanjiv Kumar Bansi Raut (44)(originally from Jharkhand), Akshay Shivaji Kale (25), and Tausif Hasan Mohammad Taslim (31) (originally from Muzaffarpur Nagar, Uttar Pradesh), on Chakan-Shikrapur road where 20kg of MD was seized from their possession. Akshay Kale had kept the drugs at his house, which were seized while he was about to sell them in the market.
As the investigation progressed, the police arrested Kiran Rajguru, Ashok Sankpal and Kiran Kale who admitted that the the drugs were manufactured at Sanyog Biotech Pvt Ltd. Accordingly, the factory was raided, contraband recovered and sealed. Tushar Kale and Khanvidekar emerged as the gang leaders.
Tushar Kale and Rocky had planned about setting up a drug factory despite being in jail and had hired Ashok Sankpal’s Sanyog Biotech company. Kiran Kale who works as a director with another company in the same area, negotiated with Sankpal. A meeting was held at his office where it was decided to produce MD at the rate of Rs 60,000 per kg. The police have frozen all their bank accounts and also attached two-acre land in Palsai village in Palghar district (near Mumbai).