Published: 30th September 2020
NCB nabs four Udupi college students with 750 tablets of MDMA worth Rs 10 lakhs
The investigation has unearthed a vast network of students from well-known colleges in Udupi and Chennai, who are the prime customers of the four students
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Bengaluru zone has busted a drug syndicate involving four college students from Udupi and has seized 750 tablets of MDMA worth around Rs 10 lakh in the grey market.
MDMA is a banned drug under the Narcotic Drugs & Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act, 1985. The investigation has unearthed a vast network of students from well-known colleges in Udupi and Chennai, who are the prime customers of the four students — Fahim, Pramodh K, A Hashir and SS Shetty — who have been arrested under the NDPS Act.
"Contraband drugs have been ordered and paid for through cryptocurrency on the Darknet," said NCB, Bengaluru Zonal Director Amit Ghawate, who led the operation. Giving the background of the seizure, the officer said that on July 30, based on credible information the NCB had seized a parcel destined to India from The Netherlands. "The parcel contained 750 MDMA tablets weighing around 142 gm. The address of the consignee was not mentioned on the parcel. Based on Intelligence inputs and detailed technical analysis the NCB team on September 24 arrested the consignee - Pramodh, mastermind Fahim and their associates - Hashir and Shetty - from Bengaluru," said Ghawate. "The accused are students from Udupi," he added.
According to the NCB, Fahim had mastered the art of purchasing narcotic drugs on the Darknet. "He had started purchasing cryptocurrency to buy the contraband drugs on the Darknet. Fahim has delivered illegal drugs to various locations in India. He has sold drugs to students from various colleges affiliated to Manipal University, NMAMIT College in Udupi, clubs in the district and SRM University in Chennai," said Ghawate. "This drug syndicate has been active for the last two years and most of their customers are college students," he added.
Hashir and Shetty are from Karnataka and Fahim and Pramod are from Kerala.This is the second NCB operation in Karnataka in the last one month in which drugs have been ordered and paid for on the Darknet using cryptocurrency. Last month the Central anti-drug agency had arrested three accused - R Ravindran, M Anoop and Anikha D - in Bengaluru and had seized huge quantities of MDMA and LSD blots from them. The payment for these drugs was said to be made through bitcoins. MDMA, which is also known as 'Ecstasy' and 'Molly' is a proscribed synthetic drug, which alters mood and perception of the user. It works as a stimulant and hallucinogen and produces feelings of increased energy, pleasure, emotional warmth, distorted sensory and time perception. MDMA increases the activity of three brain chemicals - Dopamine, Norepinephrine and Serotonin and, also triggers hormones that affect sexual arousal and trust. The anti-drugs operation was conducted by Ghawate along with NCB Inspectors Vivek Kumar Pandey, Pradeep Kumar and Sunil Parewa