The Telangana Prohibition and Excise Department, on Wednesday, 28 December, busted a drug racket operated from Banjara Hills in Hyderabad with the arrest of a person identified as Hari Satheesh from Vijayawada.
The bust was made during a crackdown on peddlers launched in the city, as part of the department’s efforts to contain the sale of drugs during New Year celebrations in Hyderabad.
A Telangana State Task Force (STF) team led by Excise Superintendent N Anji Reddy raided a paying guest hostel on Road Number 10 in Banjara Hills, following instructions from Prohibition and Excise Director Sarfaraj Ahmad.
During the raid, the team seized 48 gm of Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and 25 gm of cocaine from Sateesh.
Sateesh’s questioning revealed that a drug peddler named Abdurabu alias Abdu — a Yemeni national against whom three drug cases are pending in Hyderabad — was supplying the contraband.
After the enforcement agencies intensified vigil on peddlers, Abdu shifted his base from Hyderabad to Bengaluru and started sending MDMA and cocaine to Hyderabad through his agents, and conducted business through some old drug consumers, said Anji Reddy.
The STF identified 11 consumers who were purchasing MDMA and cocaine from Adbu through his agents. They were also accused in this case as consumption of drugs is an offence under Section 27 of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act.
With his agents acting as middlemen, Adbu was selling one gram of cocaine for ₹10,000 and one gram of MDMA for ₹5,000.
Abdu took advantage of the increasing demand from customers on the eve of New Year celebrations and cashed in by selling the contraband with the assistance of his agents.
The Excise Department officials are examining call data details collected from the seized mobile phone of Sateesh to zero in on the persons associated with him.
The STF team produced Sateesh before the local court in Hyderabad on Wednesday after which it remanded him to judicial custody.
Also read: DRI busts Hyderabad drug ring
Ahead of New Year celebrations on the night of 31 December, the Excise Department has intensified vigil at all the major star-category hotels and pubs across the city and its suburbs.
Senior officials have listed out the instructions to be followed by the management of all the pubs and hotels while organising New Year parties.