A team of the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) investigating the Sindhrot mephedrone seizure worth about Rs 500 crore has found that the main accused had produced the drugs solely for exports. Senior ATS officers said that this is probably the first drug-haul case in which no narcotic substance was meant for local consumption. Nearly 140kg of mephedrone worth Rs 700 crore was sent either to Dubai or to North America.
“It is suspected that the drug consignments were either sent in containers via special economic zones or were flown out.
The main accused in the case is Salim Dola, a resident of Mumbai who left for Dubai after being released on bail in two cases filed under the NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) Act.
On November 29, the ATS raided a factory in Sindhrot village, on the outskirts of Vadodara city, and seized a huge cache of the banned drug mephedrone, and raw materials for its manufacture, worth Rs 479 crore.
The ATS also arrested Saumil Pathak, Shailesh Kataria, Vinod Nijama, and Bharat Chawda of Vadodara and Mohammad Shafi Dewan of Nadiad, who had been manufacturing mephedrone, also known as MD, for about two months at the factory.
Pathak had taken tutorials on the dark web to make the drug and had roped in the others after setting up the Sindhrot unit. Kataria is a chemistry graduate. The others handled logistical operations.