In a major drug bust on Sunday, the Telangana Prohibition and Excise Department seized 700 dots of LSD worth Rs 20 lakh and 35gm of MDMA worth Rs 1.4 lakh from three peddlers. The investigation that had been on for almost a month brought to light the disturbing underbelly of drug trade in Hyderabad, which involves not only Tollywood stars and MNC professionals, but also school students, many from reputed institutes.
According to media reports, 29-year-old Calvin Masc Renhas, Mohammed Abdul Quddus (29) and his younger brother Mohammed Abdul Wahed (20), were arrested from various parts of Hyderabad for possession of contraband items.
Phones of the accused were seized, and using the WhatsApp messages and emails found on them, the authorities were able to identify the customers.
The buyers of these drugs included a well-known film producer, many other film personalities, top MNC officials, hoteliers and school children. According to Srinath Vudalliâ€™s report in TOI, Akun Sabharwal, P&E Director, told the media that he was shocked to see most of the buyers were from affluent families. 21 of these abusers have been identified, reported Marri Ramu for The Hindu.
One class nine girl student, reportedly from a prominent Hyderabad school, even messaged one of the drug dealers, â€śI liked the drug. It gave me a nearly 12-hour high. I want more, can you arrange?â€ť Another person allegedly signed a blank cheque and sent the dealers a message saying, â€śThis cheque is yours if I can get five more dots,â€ť reported The New Indian Express.
Calvin and the two other accused were apparently getting the drugs couriered from Chicago. After collecting the drugs, they would then supply it to the customers, Sabharwal told the media. However, the officials did not reveal much information about the identity of the Chicago supplier.
Contact was established between the suppliers and the customers over WhatsApp and social media. In some cases, the peddlers would meet the customers in a casual setting and make the transaction. In other cases, the drug dealers would use their contacts to deliver the drugs to the users. As for MNC personnel, it was found the cafeteria was the most common place for the sale to take place.
Officials are also investigating whether this was a three-member gang or if it involved more persons.
The Hindu reported that investigators hope to uncover more leads to people involved in the ring through their email and other communications over the peddlersâ€™ phones. The phones have been sent to Hyderabad Central Crime Station for further analysis of the messages.
It appears that the accused where using a messaging platform on which messages sent and received are deleted after a certain time. Messaging apps like Telegram provide this feature.
As for those who purchased the drugs from the peddlers, Sabharwal said that they would not be filing cases against them. TNIE reported that they will be sent for rehabilitation instead. â€śOf the people I spoke to, they need psychological and medical treatment,â€ť Sabharwal said. The film producer, who was found to be one of the customers, will be called in for questioning.
While Calvin hails from Goa and was staying in Bowenpally, the two brothers are from Chandrayangutta.
Tollywood and drugs
In March 2014, Tollywood actor Nanduri Uday Kiran was arrested at the Jubilee Hills check post while trying to buy cocaine from a Nigerian peddler.
In December 2012, actor Abhishek Kumar and his friend were arrested and police seized 10 grams of cocaine from them. They had later confessed to procuring it from a dealer in Goa.