rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » News » Hunting down the cocaine trail to Hyderabad

Hunting down the cocaine trail to Hyderabad

December 22, 2010 12:50 IST

Andhra Pradesh police have approached embassies of three countries to crackdown on sources of contraband substances supply, particularly cocaine to Hyderabad after busting seven gangs, involving foreign nationals, during the last six months.

A total of 15 persons including 12 foreigners -- eight Nigerians, three Ugandan and one Kenyan -- were arrested recently by Hyderabad police who were involved in supplying cocaine to various pubs, resorts and high-society people in the city.

"We have approached the embassies of Nigeria, Uganda and Tanzania to identify the nationals arrested by us, but a major problem is the genuineness of names of the accused," Central Crime Station (CCS) Additional Commissioner of Police S Umapathy said.

He said the foreign nationals held in drug supplying rackets might have obtained passports in fictitious names.

Efforts are on to crack down the sources as those arrested have revealed that they were getting cocaine from their gang leaders in South Africa, Tanzania, Nigeria and Uganda. The state police is working with various agencies to nab kingpins who are supplying cocaine to peddlers, the official said.

The Hyderabad police successfully busted seven drug racket networks involving foreign nationals which also helped exposing the drug mafia-Tollywood link, Umapathi said adding that drug peddlers have customers in actors from Telugu film industry and members of affluent families in posh localities. About 600 grams of cocaine was siezed from their possession.

The link between drug peddlers and Tollywood personalities came to light when Telugu Film actor Ravi Teja's brothers B Raghunath Raju and B Bharath Raju and their friend D Naresh were arrested while buying drugs from Chima Clement, a Nigerian on August 19.

With the arrest of 15 persons, we successfully broke the "distribution chain" network, but so far we are unable to break the "transit" chain, which may take some time. Police teams have already been dispatched to various cities, the ACP, who is also in-charge of the Detective Department, said.

Also, in the wake of arrest of foreign nationals in connection with selling narcotics in the city, the Hyderabad police has set up an anti-drug cell headed by a police officer of the rank of an Assistant Commissioner of Police, Umapathi said.

After the arrest of a Nigerian-Chima Clement alias Victor by Jubilee Hills police in the month of August, we have gathered information that cocaine was very much in demand among the affluent class besides students and Tollywood personalities in the city, he said.

Chima had telephone numbers of Tollywood personalities and some siblings of affluent families, the police officer said adding that we are keeping a vigil on the persons listed in the dairy and the cell phone of Chima.

He said during interrogation, Nigerian and Ugandan drug peddlers, have revealed contact numbers of about 50-60 customers (drug addicts) belonging to Telugu film industry, student groups and wards of affluent families.

The cocaine was being received from main agents in Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore, the police officer added.

Despite the arrest of local peddlers, the demand for the drug has not come down and that was the reason the persons who were in the trade often land here from Mumbai, he said.

On December 10, two Nigerians and one Kenyan were arrested by Jubilee Hills police for allegedly running a drug racket. The arrested were -- Azubuike Ugorji alias Franklin and Ikennha Akabueze (both Nigerians) and Mbogo Mugo alias Karl (Kenyan).

Hyderabad police is in constant touch with various departments including customs and Air Intelligence Units of Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai and other cities to gather further information.

A police team from Andhra Pradesh is leaving Chennai to attend a meeting of southern states to have an indepth discussion and evolve an appropriate strategy to control the supply or contraband substance in the country. The meeting was being organized by Narcotics Control Bureau on December 23.

The names of foreign nationals arrested are: Chima Clement alias Victor, native of Enugu, Okechukwu Ohazurike of Owerri, Imo state, Gerald Ike of Benin city, CharlesĀ  Ojimba Ike of Igun street of Benin city, Azubuike Ugorji alias Franklin and Ikennha Akabueze (all Nigerians) and Mbogo Mugo alias Karl (Kenyan); Patrick Emario, a native of Naguru Kampala in Uganda, Ayebare Donald of Entebbe Kampala and Bunkedeko Bbirah Adil of Natate village of Kampula (three Ugandans).