How the drug mafia operated: what went down at the ketamine factories at Goa, Panvel and Gujarat?

The directorate of revenue intelligence (DRI) on Wednesday busted a factory in Panvel, from where impure Ketamine was being sent to Goa and Gujarat to be smuggled to the UK and Canada, ending its three-day Operation Vitamin.

The crackdown, one of the biggest this year, ended with the arrests of 10 men, including two UK nationals and one from Vietnam, and seizure of 308kg of Ketamine, 250kg of raw material needed to make the drug and other drugs valued at ₹35 crore.

Also Read: Top Goa Police, ANC officials were aware of Ketamine factory on BJP leader Vasudev Parab’s property

The probe revealed that the factory in Rasaini-New Panvel was the epicentre of the Ketamine syndicate, with Bhandup resident Rahul Shedge as the mastermind. Shedge manufactured impure Ketamine in this factory, which was then distributed to the entire western India, said DRI officials. Acting on inputs, DRI Mumbai raided the factory, Jay Vijay Industrial Estate, a flat in a plush locality in Jogeshwari and various other places in Goa, Baroda, Bhiwandi. Seven people were arrested from the city, while subsequent action in Indore and Mangalore took the number of arrests to 10.

Also Read: Goa BJP leader Vasudev Parab’s factory raided as deadly drugs worth Rs 35 crore seized as inter-state racket in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa

According to officials, Shedge manufactured Ketamine Intermediate, which is one step away from becoming pure Ketamine, as it is not covered under the NDPS Act. DRI officials kept an eye on their activities and raided the premises only after they produced pure Ketamine from the intermediate.

DRI had arrested Shedge in 2009 with Alprazolam tablets and powder, while the NCB arrested him in August 2012 in connection with a Ketamine case, a DRI official told HT. “Shedge used to sell Ketamine Intermediate to two rackets, one based in Goa another in Gujarat,” said the official.

Also Read: DRI busts Goa BJP leader Vasudev Parab’s factory illegally manufacturing Date Rape drug Ketamine

The Goa-based racket was being run by two British and a Vietnamese nationals. They used to convert the impure Ketamine to its pure form and send back the final product to Mumbai, from where it was sent to the United Kingdom and Canada through courier shipments. They would conceal Ketamine in teabags.

DRI officials suspect the arrested British nationals were dealing with other drugs and active in the drug supply chain for long.

The Gujarat-based racket used to carry out the Ketamine conversion at factory in Baroda. The gang used to send the final product to a place in Palampur, from where Ketamine was sent to a port in Gujarat to be transported to African countries using the sea route. The drugs would be smuggled along with ordinary chemicals, the official said.

This syndicate is believed to have supplied drugs to international traffickers in Australia, Sri Lanka, Mozambique, UK, Canada, Malaysia, Vietnam and Kenya. “As we cracked down on the main source of Ketamine and unearthed the entire set-up, we believe that there will be no Ketamine in the market for a long time,” additional director general, DRI Shravan Kumar told HT.

Apart from Shedge, the arrested include New Panvel resident Anthony Paul, Jalandar resident Akshinder Sodhi, Ishrat Parmar, a resident of Juna Deesa, Gujarat, Purohit Jagdishbhai, a Vadodara resident and Mayur Sadrani from Rajkot in Gujarat. A man from Indore who acted as a mediator between Shedge and other rackets has also been arrested. All have been booked under relevant sections of the NDPS Act.

Source: Hindustan Times

Top Goa Police, ANC officials were aware of Ketamine factory on BJP leader Vasudev Parab’s property, but turned a blind eye

In a very shocking allegation, that casts a long, dark shadow on the credibility of the Goa Police, a former senior NCB official of the Goa unit of the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) revealed to IndiaScoops.com, that senior Goa police officials and the local unit of the anti-narcotics cell (ANC) of the Goa police were fully aware of a ‘chemical factory’ being operated on the property owned by Goa BJP leader Vasudev Parab, but turned a blind eye to it as it was owned by the State’s senior-most and most influential BJP leader.

“Not just Parab, but other Goa politicians and their family members or relatives have their allotted plots and premises rented out at huge premiums to North Indians who carry on unidentified businesses and production activity at the venues. Nobody checks what is being produced or manufactured at the unit or even dares to ask any questions,” the NCB official revealed, adding that on two occasions he had recommended that all such ‘chemical factories’ must be checked out but his suggestion was shot down.

Also Read: Goa BJP leader Vasudev Parab’s factory raided as deadly drugs worth Rs 35 crore seized as inter-state racket in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa

The DRI raid has revealed that impure or intermediate ketamine slurry was produced at the factory Jai Vijay Industries at Panvel and sent to to the Goa factory for purification. The UK nationals Jonathan Thorn and Barry Bracken, Nguyen Cuong, a qualified chemist from Vietnam; along with one Sarpreet Singh ran the Goa part of the ketamine slurry purification operation. The purified ketamine was then transported to Gujarat where it shipped abroad.

The NCB official who was earlier based in Goa, was transferred out of Goa to the Mumbai regional office of the NCB after he tried to investigate certain illegal activities going on along the coastal stretch of North Goa. “There was tremendous political pressure. We were always aware that there was something fishy going on there. Even the local Goa FDA (Food and Drugs Administration) was tipped off, but no one took action. Every time we tried to do something and asked for police backup, the culprits were immediately tipped and when the raiding party landed at the venue, there was nothing to be found. The drug industry in Goa a very big racket that involves top police officials, senior politicians, NCB, ANC, IAS, everyone is involved and everyone gets a packet every month to keep their mouth shut. Parab’s factory was licensed to manufacture iron grills and do welding work. But everyone knew there was a chemical factory there. What exactly was being manufactured may not be known, but the fact that chemicals were being transported to and fro was known to several persons including the Goa Police, NCB, ANC and even the FDA. According to media reports, the Goa FDA now claims they were not aware of any ‘chemical unit’ at the premises, which is not correct. More than one department was tipped about the illegal ‘chemical factory’. Why none of these departments ever raided the place is anybody’s guess,” he told IndiaScoops.com.

“There are many such small, obscure units in Goa run by non-Goans on properties owned by Goan politicians, manufacturing chemicals. We were told it was toilet cleaners and pesticides for home and industrial use. Nobody dared check out the premises or test the chemicals,” the former Goa NCB official revealed

Also Read: DRI busts Goa BJP leader Vasudev Parab’s factory illegally manufacturing Date Rape drug Ketamine

In a three-day operation code-named “Operation Vitamin”, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) busted an international drug manufacturing and distribution syndicate and seized 308 kg ketamine and a huge quantity of raw material from various sites in Goa, Maharashtra and Gujarat and arrested 10 persons including two British nationals and one from Vietnam.

“This pan-India network was controlled by an international drug syndicate. In all, about 308 kg of ketamine has been seized by DRI along with 2,000 kg of raw material enough to manufacture another 250 kg. The significance of this seizure can be gauged from the fact that all-India seizure of ketamine during the calendar year 2016 was 68.06 kg only,” the DRI statement said. The total value of the seized consignment is estimated to be in the range of Rs 35-40 crore.

Knowing the importance of the operation, the DRI did not even inform the local police or the local Anti Narcotics cell fearing a tip off.

Meanwhile, alleging that the industrial unit, which was raided for illegally manufacturing ketamine was being operated by a BJP functionary, the Congress on Wednesday demanded an investigation into the entire episode. Congress leaders met director general of police Muktesh Chander and urged him to take action against drug traffickers and those involved in protecting drug dealers.

A day earlier, the directorate of revenue intelligence (DRI) raided an industrial unit in Pissurlem and seized around a huge consignment of ketamine, a party drug. “We plead with the government to investigate accurately, look into the matter, find the whereabouts of the people involved and take immediate action,” Curtorim MLA Alexio Reginaldo Lourenco said.

Congress party workers along with Lourenco, Tivim MLA Nilkanth Halarnkar and St.Cruz MLA Tony Fernandes were part of the delegation that met the DGP in his office to submit a memorandum seeking an urgent crackdown on drugs. On Tuesday, as details about the raid began to trickle in, state Congress chief Girish Chodankar said that the owner of the factory was a party member of the BJP and that the BJP was trying to shield him.

“The seizure has clearly exposed his nexus with the drug lobby in the state which has percolated down to the villages from its traditional bastion of the tourism-prone coastline,” Chodankar said.

He also alleged that the incident had exposed the nexus between BJP politicians, police and drug peddlers which was proved by the fact that the DRI had kept the local police officials in the dark about the raid.

“This reflects badly on the state police who have been only making drug peddlers scapegoats, while letting the big dealers continue with their trade of spreading venom,” Chodankar said.

With inputs from Times of India & Hindustan Times

Goa Cong demands probe against State BJP Head Vasudev Parab in Rs 35 Cr drugs haul case

Alleging that the industrial unit, which was raided for illegally manufacturing ketamine was being operated by a BJP functionary, the Congress on Wednesday demanded an investigation into the entire episode. Congress leaders met director general of police Muktesh Chander and urged him to take action against drug traffickers and those involved in protecting drug dealers.

Also Read: Top Goa Police, ANC officials were aware of Ketamine factory on BJP leader Vasudev Parab’s property

A day earlier, the directorate of revenue intelligence (DRI) raided an industrial unit in Pissurlem and seized around a huge consignment of ketamine, a party drug. “We plead with the government to investigate accurately, look into the matter, find the whereabouts of the people involved and take immediate action,” Curtorim MLA Alexio Reginaldo Lourenco said.

Also Read: Goa BJP leader Vasudev Parab’s factory raided as deadly drugs worth Rs 35 crore seized as inter-state racket in Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa

Congress party workers along with Lourenco, Tivim MLA Nilkanth Halarnkar and St.Cruz MLA Tony Fernandes were part of the delegation that met the DGP in his office to submit a memorandum seeking an urgent crackdown on drugs. On Tuesday, as details about the raid began to trickle in, state Congress chief Girish Chodankar said that the owner of the factory was a party member of the BJP and that the BJP was trying to shield him.

“The seizure has clearly exposed his nexus with the drug lobby in the state which has percolated down to the villages from its traditional bastion of the tourism-prone coastline,” Chodankar said.

Also Read: DRI busts Goa BJP leader Vasudev Parab’s factory illegally manufacturing Date Rape drug Ketamine

He also alleged that the incident had exposed the nexus between BJP politicians, police and drug peddlers which was proved by the fact that the DRI had kept the local police officials in the dark about the raid.

“This reflects badly on the state police who have been only making drug peddlers scapegoats, while letting the big dealers continue with their trade of spreading venom,” Chodankar said.

Source: Times of India