In a release, the NCB in Bengaluru has said that a ‘seven-member drug syndicate’ thrived during the lockdown and ‘high-quality marijuana’ has been recovered from them.

Drug syndicate members with the seized drugs
news Crime Sunday, October 03, 2021 - 11:10

The Narcotics Control Bureau on Saturday, October 2, said that it has busted a drug trafficking racket in Bengaluru and Shivamogga districts of Karnataka, and said that dealers posed as Swiggy delivery executives for doorstep delivery of drugs in the two districts. In a release, the NCB in Bengaluru has said that a “seven-member drug syndicate” thrived during the lockdown period and "high-quality marijuana" has been recovered from them.

The agency said its officers intercepted two people on Thursday when they were in the process of taking delivery of eight boxes of contraband from a courier vehicle and loading them into a car in Bengaluru. “A thorough examination revealed 137 kg of high-grade marijuana packed in paper packets wrapped with adhesive tapes, which was seized,” the NCB said. “Searches at the residence of one of the accused resulted in the recovery of Rs 4.81 lakh cash. Packing materials used for retail packing of the contraband was also found.”

The NCB said that a “Swiggy delivery executive who was about to deliver a parcel” was also apprehended. The agency also said that “many dealers disguised themselves as Swiggy executives" to take advantage of the fact that they were counted as essential services, and allowed to move around during the lockdown.

“The traffickers, instead of going and buying the drugs, booked the drugs consignments through couriers, by giving addresses of non-functional shops or other business establishments,” the NCB said in a statement. “The kingpin, along with associates, were operating the drug trafficking in large scale in Bangalore City and its outskirts and were delivering the drugs to their consumers under the disguise of Swiggy delivery boys since lockdown guidelines under COVID-19 restrictions allow such deliveries under service of essential commodities,” the NCB added. 

“This drug cartel has many Swiggy delivery boys in their drug syndicate and mastered the drug delivery mechanism in Bangalore. The syndicate thrived especially during the lockdown period and used to assure customers of doorstep delivery,” the NCB said in the statement. 

The NCB said it carried out searches at residential premises of another accused, and that it has recovered about three kilograms of ganja, packed in small packets with specific markings on it and cash of Rs 39,000 as "proceeds of drug trafficking.” A follow-up action led to the arrest of four people in Shivamogga on Friday, October 1, including the man who has been handling the finances of the network, the agency said.

In a separate incident, the Audugodi police in Bengaluru have arrested two people for selling ganja and hashish oil. Following the arrest, the police confiscated 5.1 kgs of ganja worth Rs 2 lakh and 540 grams of hashish oil worth Rs 25 lakh.

In another case, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) on Friday, October 1 caught a man on a train on the suspicion of carrying 640 grams of Crystal Meth (Methamphetamine) worth Rs 3.2 crore. However, the RPF later clarified that no drugs were seized in this case. 

(Note: Article has been updated to include clarification by RPF)