Drug sellers have now turned to neighbourhood fruit and vegetable sellers to peddle their wares. Since April, the ANC has held three such vendors and one food stall owner for peddling charas and Mephedrone (MD) also known as ‘meow meow’.
The latest such arrest was on Wednesday, when ANC branch nabbed vegetable vendor Suraj Gupta after they received a tip-off about him selling MD in a vegetable market near Goregaon check naka.
Based on the information, ANC officials kept a watch on him for a couple of hours and noticed that several young customers, mostly boys, were swarming to Gupta’s stall. The cops detained him and upon being interrogated, he confessed to selling drugs. ANC recovered 370 grams of MD worth rupees Rs 7,40,000 and Rs 7,92,500 cash from Gupta, who has been in the drug business since the last one year.
According to ANC sources, drug suppliers are now targeting those who sell everyday items. In the new modus operandi, they first turn the sellers into addicts, after which they start using their shop for selling drugs. ANC has now has started keeping a watch on such vendors. When MD was not listed in the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act (NDPS) Act, it was allegedly easily available with paan vendors. Shivdeep Lande, deputy commissioner of police, ANC said, “To confuse agencies, suppliers and peddlers are using these kinds of modus operandi. We have arrested the accused [Gupta] under the NDPS Act.”