Karnataka police have arrested a foreign national and seized drugs worth Rs 2.5 crore being smuggled in champagne bottles, sources told IANS on Saturday. The contraband also included 2,500 grams of MDMA crystal powder. The police in a statement said that the drugs were allegedly being sold to students and industrialists in the reputed hotels. More investigations are underway to ascertain the source of the drugs. The accused was caught while he was selling the drugs near Yusuf Maszid service road in HBR Layout, according to the police.
Each champagne bottle carrying the drugs was sold for Rs 60 to Rs 70 lakh, the police said. The middleman used to pack it in small packets and then sell it to the customers. Govindapura police are following leads to nab the others involved in the racket. The accused man is aged 28 and is a citizen of the Ivory Coast. A mobile and a two-wheeler were also seized from the accused.
The accused came to India three years ago under a tourist visa. However, the police have not retrieved a visa or a passport from him, police sources told IANS. The police have said that he would bring drugs in a powdered form packed in champagne bottles. He used to procure drugs from Goa and bring them to Bengaluru, they added.
The police say that the man is a repeat offender, and was previously too arrested by the police for selling narcotics substances on two occasions â€” in 2019 and in 2020 â€” by the Bengaluru police. However, he continued with the drug peddling after obtaining bail, police said, according to IANS.
A notice has also been served to the owner of the house where the accused had been staying, for renting out the house without verifying the accused's visa and passport.
Earlier, according to a report in TNM, on September 16, the Bengaluru Central Crime Branch (CCB) police had busted a drug factory that had been producing MDMA. During the raid, the police seized MDMA crystals worth Rs 2 crore. According to the police, the accused had been smuggling the drugs to New Zealand and other countries.